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News Report Page 9 of 15
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Road funding drop this year could pay for 9.5 million pothole repairs

COUNCILS could repair more than 9.5 million extra potholes with the funding lost from local road maintenance budgets this year, analysis from the Local Government Association have revealed.

Overall capital funding allocated to Councils for local road maintenance this year by the Department for Transport is ₤1.39 billion; down from ₤1.78 billion in 2020/21. This represents a ₤400 million (22%) reduction on the year before.

With the average cost of repairing a pothole being just over ₤40, this is enough to carry out more than 9.5 million road repairs; the equivalent to 64,000 repairs in each local Council area.

Fixing our roads is a top priority for Councils. Despite the Pandemic, Councils have been working hard to repair our roads, fixing a pothole every 19 seconds as well as supporting an increase in other infrastructure through temporary road measures.

The Government's ₤2.5 billion Pothole Repair Fund, announced in the Budget, will help Councils to do more to maintain our roads this year and will go a long way to help tackling our local road repairs backlog.

The LGA is urging the Government to also restore this highways maintenance funding so that our Councils can continue to keep roads well maintained and address the almost ₤11 billion backlog in local road repairs.

Cllr David Renard, Transport spokesperson for the LGA said:- "The ability of Councils to improve local transport connectivity and infrastructure, including upgrades to local bus, road and cycle infrastructure, is critical to Government ambitions to level up the country and support our long term economic recovery from the Pandemic. Councils are on the side of motorists, and are working hard to keep our roads safe and resilient, repairing potholes as quickly as they can. However, it would take ₤11 billion and more than a decade for Councils to clear the current local roads repair backlog, with the cancellation of important planned works risking extending this backlog further. With long term and consistent investment in local road maintenance, Councils can help Government by embarking on the widespread improvement of our roads that is desperately needed, to the benefit of all road users up and down the country, including cyclists."

Abbie turns passion for children into career

A former Hugh Baird College student, Abbie Walker, has secured an apprenticeship following her Supported Internship work placement, at Kids Planet Children's Nursery, in Crosby.

Abbie, from Crosby, completed her School studies at Sacred Heart Catholic College and subsequently joined Hugh Baird College in 2016 to study their Learning for Life study programme. Abbie successfully completed the course and when deciding her next step, she considered following a career related to a passion of hers:- looking after children.

When an opportunity to study a Supported Internship programme with a local children's Nursery was offered by her tutors, Abbie jumped at the chance and in September 2021, now aged 20, she started the programme with Kids Planet Nursery in Crosby.

Supported Internships are a structured study programme based primarily at an employer's premises. They help young people, aged:- 16 to 24, with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to achieve employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace.

Abbie excellent during her internship at Kids Planet, so much so that in February 2021, managers at the Nursery offered her a Nursery Practitioner Level 2 apprenticeship with the company, which she gratefully accepted.

Speaking of her time studying at Hugh Baird College, Abbie said:- "My tutors Kim Brennan and Catherine Kennedy were simply incredible. They pushed me to achieve my full potential and supported me throughout my studies. They instilled in me the self belief to reach for my goal of working in the childcare sector, and I'm extremely thankful to them for helping me achieve it."

Talking about her apprenticeship with Kids Planet, Abbie said:- "Looking after children has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I absolutely love working at Kids Planet. The staff have been really welcoming and made me feel at home straightaway."

Gill Mason, Head of Training and Development at Kids Planet Training Academy, said:- "We are always looking for enthusiastic and passionate people to join the Kids Planet Group and we pride ourselves on valuing our employees and recognising their hard work. Abbie is a superb addition to the team at Kids Planet Crosby. From her early days working with us during her Supported Internship programme, she showed great enthusiasm and a commitment to her role. We were pleased when she accepted our offer to undertake her apprenticeship and we look forward to following Abbie's career as we support and nurture her to progress within the company."

For more information on the Hugh Baird College Supported Internship programme, visit:- HughBaird.AC.UK or call:- 01513534444 for more information.

For more information about the Kids Planet Training Academy, visit:- KidsPlanetTrainingAcademy.Co.UK or call:- 01565682090 for more information.

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