Conservatives ignore Lib Dem calls to review failure to deliver Hertfordshire County Council’s capital programme

HLD

Conservatives on Hertfordshire County Council refuse to review the reasons behind the failure to deliver the planned capital budget during the current and previous years. Liberal Democrats highlighted that the slippage in the first two quarters of 2022/23 amounts to £137m of the £413m budget agreed in February 2022. This follows shortfalls in the capital programme for the two previous years of £193m and £258m. As build costs continue to rise well in excess of inflation (the monthly Building Materials and Components Index reported the costs for all new work rose by 18% in September year on year) the failure to deliver the capital programme will result in fewer schemes being realised due to increased cost pressures.

Councillor Sally Symington, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Resources and Performance, commented, 'the Conservative administration is failing residents by not delivering on its promises for expenditure on schools' maintenance, improvements to Active Travel, investment in waste facilities and decarbonisation projects. These schemes will all cost more in the future and some may not even come to fruition. The administration is tin eared to suggestions that a review is overdue. Its optimism bias stretches all credibility when the spending plans fall so short of those promised'.