Extra £7.1m to boost Council services

An extra £7.1 million will be invested to improve services across Somerset, it was revealed today.

Somerset County Council already announced plans to spend £46.5m as part of the 2014/15 Capital Investment Programme back in February.

This additional money includes £4.5m to repair roads damaged by the severe weather this winter, £1.6m to update and improve the council’s traffic management system, an extra £800,000 to support vulnerable groups in Glastonbury, and £180,000 to develop an IT system to help Adult Social Care service users.

  • Highways: the Council has received an additional grant of £4.5m from the Department for Transport which is earmarked for repairing roads damaged by severe weather this winter.
  • Traffic Management: the Council will be investing £1.6m in updating the traffic management system ahead of the national change from analogue to digital technology in three years’ time. It should lead to improved reliability, effectiveness, security and public information on the highways network.
  • Learning Disability and Pupil Referral Units at Glastonbury: this £800,000 supplements a previous approval and will allow the demolition of existing buildings on the Beckery site in Glastonbury and provide for their replacement with two purpose-built buildings. Appropriate arrangements will be put in place to ensure users of both services are kept fully informed and protected during the development.
  • Adult Social Care services: supplementary investment of £180,000 to allow the Council to develop an Information, Advice and Guidance Portal for service users. This IT system will allow people to easily find out what services are available and will prove important as individuals and their families have increasing control over the care choices that they make. This technology will also be used to support similar services for Children’s Social Care.

Cllr David Huxtable, Somerset County Council Cabinet member for Resources, said: “Among our key priorities are to improve transport links, make Somerset a safer and healthier place, and provide good quality services for those who need them.

“We’ve already invested £46.5m to do this, and I’m pleased we are able to add another £7.1m into this pot which will make a real difference and benefit people across the county.”