The budget for repairing roads, fixing footways and protecting pavements is to be slashed by almost 80 per cent.

According to emails seen by the Epsom Guardian the scale of the cuts have been revealed to members of Epsom and Ewell’s Local Committee but have yet to be made public.

In 2016/17 the committee received £355,433 from Surrey County Council but that is set to tumble to £77,273 - a cut of about 78 per cent.

Epsom Guardian:

The raiding of the budget could mean there is only money for safety defects according to Residents’ Association Councillor Eber Kington, the chairman of the Epsom and Ewell’s Local Committee, who also described the cut as “horrendous”.

Countywide highways projects of £44 million will remain this year, according to Surrey.

From March 2013: Roadworks begin to fill 22 Epsom High Street potholes

Cllr Kington said: “There isn’t nearly enough to respond to anything other than safety defects – assuming that is what we will spend the money on.

“There are guardrails in Ruxley Lane that need replacing – but no, there is no money.

“There’s a tree that needs repairing in Highfield Drive – we can’t do anything about it.

“Residents will give up – they won’t bother to complain – because nothing can be done.”

He added: “It means we can’t respond to residents. What is the point in having a local committee, if we don’t have the funds to do what local residents want?”

From March 2017: Surrey County Council plans to cut millions of pounds from frontline services in face of Conservative austerity

Surrey County Council’s cabinet last month approved £72 million worth of cuts from frontline services across the next five years as it attempts to offset sustained government cuts and “poor spending decisions”.

The government has cut the council’s annual grant by £170million since 2010, while demand for adult social care, learning disabilities and children’s services is increasing.

From July 2016: Councillor criticises Surrey County Council's £13 million agency staff bill and lack of guiding policy

From Deember 2016: Surrey County Council forced to dip into 'largest ever use of reserves' to address £15 million overspend

But Surrey Liberal Democrat leader Hazel Watson said the financial crisis had been exacerbated by “the poor stewardship of Surrey's finances by the Conservatives”.

From May 2014: Shock resignations in Surrey County Council expenses row

Cllr Kington added: “They asked us to vote for it (without policy details being mapped out), and then six weeks down the line this is what we get. We should have had a debate about it.”

Epsom Guardian:

At the cabinet meeting at which the cuts were outlined, council leader David Hodge (pictured above) said: “It is very easy if you are not part of the decision-making process to say, ‘We want more money for this’, and ‘Why have you done that?’

“But I believe we, as Conservatives, have been quite prudent, sensible and pragmatic about how we put this budget forwards.”

A Surrey County Council spokesman said “Even with demand for the council's services rising and the need to find significant savings the amount being spent on Surrey's highways this year is more than £44 million."

The Epsom Guardian was unable to contact the Conservative Party’s members of the local committee for further comment.

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