Despite claims from the Conservative Administration that this Budget will see the Cheltenham to Bishop’s Cleeve cycle track delivered, there remains a £4.6million blackhole that they offer no answers for.
Gloucestershire County Council’s Budget has been unveiled today and includes the claim that it will see delivery of the long overdue Cheltenham to Bishop’s Cleeve cycle-track, unveiling an additional £5.3 million in external grants for the scheme.
However, earlier this year, at a call-in meeting organised by the Liberal Democrats, the Cabinet Member for Finance confirmed that the Cheltenham to Bishop’s Cleeve “cycle scheme now has a funding gap of £9million, against a project of £10.5million.”
At that meeting, Conservative councillors voted to allow a further £435,000 to be taken from the cycle track reserve to pay for highway capacity improvements, leaving less than £600,000 in the pot. The County Council then submitted a bid for the shortfall of nearly £10m, yet, in today’s Budget papers it is revealed that they received only half of this money – leaving a shortfall of £4.6 million.
Alex Hegenbarth, County Councillor for Bishop’s Cleeve, said:
“Yet again this Conservative council trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes, claiming to be building the cycle track while only providing half the funding to have it realised.
“Only two months ago the Cabinet Member for Finance confirmed that the track required £10.5million to be built, yet the Council has only allocated £5.9million towards it – all from external sources – while putting none of its own money towards it.
“The County Council is sorely mistaken if they think they can underfund community projects that have long been promised. The Liberal Democrats and I will continue to fight to ensure this cycle link, that will keep children and families safe, is delivered.”