Council vows to spend big on roads

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ALMOST £350 million will be spent on major capital projects in priority areas across North Lanarkshire over the next five years.

North Lanarkshire Council approved the composite capital programme until 2017/18 at a meeting of the policy and resources committee on Thursday, March 14.

The cash will be injected across key areas including £56m on roads, street lighting, bridges and flood prevention, £4m on open spaces and parks, £13m for regeneration projects and town centres, £27m for upgrading the current schools estate, £173m on new schools under the Schools and Centres 21 programme, £10m sports and leisure facilities, £8m for equipment and adaptations for care services users and £2.5m investment in cemeteries.

The programme reflects the priorities under the corporate plan, also approved by the committee, which include improving schools, supporting economic recovery and environmental regeneration.

Councillor Jim McCabe, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “These projects are vital to the future of North Lanarkshire and its people.

“Investment in new schools will rise to more than half a billion pounds since 2006. Not only do new schools ensure the best possible facilities for pupils and the wider community, they lead to employment and a boost to the local economy.”

He added: “We will spend £22m on our roads and nearly £6.5m upgrading our street lighting over the five-year programme, which will lead to safer streets.

“It’s essential that we continue our ambitious investment in our town centres and make sure we do everything we can to make them vibrant places, and £6m will go directly towards achieving that aim.

“And, of course, I am particularly concerned with making sure we invest in equipment and adaptations and care homes, ensuring that we look after the most vulnerable people in our communities.”