A TOTAL of £5 million is to be spent by the council this year on roads and pavements in Largs, Millport and neighbouring towns and villages - but almost £35 MILLION is needed to cope with a backlog of works.

North Ayrshire Council have the responsibility of roads and pavements throughout the district except on the A78 trunk road which is the remit of Amey which has an overall value of approximately £1.7 billion.

However, there is a £34.5 million backlog of repairs for locals roads and the local authority's pavement infrastructure.

Various improvements in this year's budget include £55,000 to resurface the full length of Charles Street and £35,000 allocated for works on the B896 on the Isle of Cumbrae. Brisbane Street, Haco Street and Kelvin Street in Largs are all to benefit with works costing £140,000.

Eglinton Gardens in Skelmorlie, from Halketburn to Skelmorlie Castle Road, is to receive £22,500 for footway improvements, while Drummilling Drive and Weston Terrace are in line for £15,000 of pavement works.

A total of £100,000 has been allocated for street lighting improvements in Allanpark Street in Largs and West Kilbride - Farmfield Terrace, Craufurd Avenue, Law Brae and Simson Avenue.

Indepedent councillor Ian Murdoch says he has continued to push for works on local routes.

He said: "I put forward an amendment to add £1m investment and transfer it from the investment fund to the capital fund to spend it on our roads, which are badly in need of repair.

"Other independent councillors backed me in the move but my amendment was defeated.

"To give you some idea of the drastic effect on the roads budget, we now only have 50 per cent of the original staffing level, which has dropped from 70 to 35."

However Labour councillor Alex Gallagher has defended the council spend.

He said: "Cllr Murdoch is totally wrong on this. The council is investing £5m in roads improvements this year, which is an increase of £700k over our budget allocation. We have also included an extra £15.7 million in the capital plan bringing the total investment in roads capital to £38.1 million over the period of the plan. In addition we have budgeted for a £7m revenue increase in core infrastructure spending, including roads.

"Far from underfunding, NAC is finding more money to invest in our roads. Cllr Murdoch raised this at the budget setting meeting, but I'm afraid he has disregarded the answer, or perhaps he hasn't understood it. The people of North Ayrshire can be assured that, despite the savage cuts from Holyrood and Westminster, this council will continue to invest in vital infrastructure in North Ayrshire."

However, Cllr Murdoch hit back and said: "It is funny that North Ayrshire's Cabinet announced the extra £700,000 for the roads budget after I put forward an amendment at the full council meeting for £1m to be added to the roads budget. It sounds like Labour are just wanting to take the credit for what the independents were calling for."

Russell McCutcheon, Executive Director of North Ayrshire Council, said: "The estimated carriageway maintenance backlog figure for North Ayrshire is currently £34.8 million.

"The ‘steady state’ figure for maintaining our roads at present condition is £4.3 million per year. The allocated capital budget supported by revenue funding is £4.3m for 2021/22.

"An additional £0.7m has been identified from the ‘core infrastructure, property and vehicles renewal investment’ capital budget allocation, taking the total investment in the road network to £5 million for 2021/22."