Question mark over highways depot in Pode Hole

Holbeach rural county councillor William Webb has warned that up to 30 jobs could be lost in the county highways department as work is centralised to Lincoln.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Holbeach rural county councillor William Webb has warned that up to 30 jobs could be lost in the county highways department as work is centralised to Lincoln. Photo by Tim Wilson.
  • Budget cuts of nearly £870,000 lead to downgrading of Pode Hole office
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A South Holland county councillor has warned that jobs could be at risk as a result of area highways offices being “phased out”.

Coun William Webb, member for Holbeach Rural on Lincolnshire County Council, claimed that budget cuts estimated at almost £870,000 have led to the county’s road network being run centrally from Lincoln.

The area and district highways offices are to be phased out because the funds just aren’t there so as of later this month, and going into October, everything will be referred straight to Lincoln

Coun William Webb, member for Holbeach Rural on Lincolnshire County Council

Area offices, including Pode Hole, Spalding, would still be used by gritting and road maintenance teams.

But at a meeting of Fleet Parish Council on Monday, Coun Webb said: “The area’s highways offices are to be phased out because the funds just aren’t there.

“There’ll still be a depot at Pode Hole, Spalding, for employees in the gritting and road maintenance departments.But as of later this month and going into October, everything will be referred straight to Lincoln.”

Coun Webb called the move a “sad day” having spent eight years as the county council’s executive member for highways and transport.

“In that time, I’ve got to know all the local people in all the offices and I shall miss them a lot,” Coun Webb said.

“But the local work on highways will continue exactly as it is and there won’t be any changes to the way roads are run.

“It’s just the way it’s administered that will change because the highways budget is approximately a third of what it was when I was there nine years ago.”

Steve Willis, chief operating officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “There are no plans to close local highways offices.

“However, in light of the council’s financial position, we are currently looking at restructuring and this includes our highways team.

“We expect to finalise our proposals later this year, with a view to putting the new structure in place in early 2017.”