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It may be summer but Shropshire's winter budget is already feeling a chill

Politics | Published:

Shropshire's road services may be affected this winter because of pressures on the council's budget.

Heavy snow in the winter brought chaos to towns like Bridgnorth

Shropshire Council overspent on its winter services by hundreds of thousands of pounds this year, it has been revealed.

But the authority had a winter maintenance reserve to fall back on after the heavy snowfall between December and March.

The news comes as it was revealed the council’s road services may be affected this winter by pressures on the budget.

The current winter service budget is just more than £3 million.

Discussions are ongoing as reductions to the budget were imposed from April this year, which could put pressure on the service later in the year.

Winter service deals with regular, frequent and “reasonably predictable” events like low temperatures, ice and snow, as well as exceptional events.

Shropshire Council’s place overview committee discussed the winter service at a meeting yesterday.

Steve Brown, who works in the council’s transport and highways department, said: “We do use social media but that could be enhanced as well.

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“Obviously with the winter that has passed caused severe pressures and we’re still dealing with the backwash of that to this day.

“We had staff work 24 hours a day through the night.”

“On average we come across a winter like that every six or seven years.

“There are improvements that we need to make but we need to constrain that within the budget.

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“We did greatly overspend this year by hundreds of thousands of pounds but we have a winter maintenance reserve for that which builds up over the years that aren’t that bad.

“The winter maintenance reserve did take a hit but hopefully it’ll be topped up.”

Councillor David Turner, for Much Wenlock, said: “I think that many people have unrealistic expectations of Shropshire Council.”

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