SWINDON Council is set to slash its road resurfacing budget by a further £1m to help plug an estimated £16m gap in its budget for 2013/14.

In the draft budget proposals, which aim to deal with reduced income and increasing cost pressures, the Conservative administration set out plans to slash the highways capital programme, which mainly pays for resurfacing, by £2m from £8.4m to £6.4m in 2013/14. The level of Government funding for the financial year – £3.95m – would remain the same.

The savings would come from cutting the amount of money the council would have borrowed to top up the fund, from £4.4m to £2.4m, leading to an annual saving of £150,000 in debt charges. The would not affect the repair of potholes, which are funded by a separate budget.

However, following a public consultation on the draft proposals, the final budget proposals published last week outline plans to instead save £255,000 in debt charges by reducing the highways capital programme by £3m from £8.4m to £5.4m.

When the draft budget proposals were published in December, Swindon Council said it would have to identify further savings predicted at £3.1m, but this has now grown to about £5m due to Government funding being £1.3m less than provisionally announced, and £1.05m of extra costs, alongside an assumed £450,000 increase in business rate income.