A TOTAL of £15m over the next two years will be ploughed into fixing pavements and minor roads across Northumberland.

During a discussion this week about Northumberland County Council’s spending plan as part of the proposed budget for authority for 2020-21, council leader Peter Jackson revealed the money would be spent on long-neglected areas.

Cabinet members signed off the budget, which includes savings of almost £10m, before it goes to full council for final approval on Wednesday. Ahead of the meeting, the authority announced the £15m funding for rural roads and path repairs, to be split equally over the next two financial years, will be in addition to the £18.5m committed in the Local Transport Plan.

Coun. Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “We know how vital our road network is and maintaining and improving it is a year-round task.

“Our more rural roads are key connections between towns and villages and also attract thousands of visitors and tourists to our beautiful county. Many of our pavements and footways are also in need of long term investment to improve their condition and make walking easier and safer for our residents.”

Next year’s proposed budget is set to includes a council-tax rise of 3.99 per cent - 2 per cent ring-fenced for adult social care and a 1.99 per cent general increase.

Cabinet members said the rise would help fund additional projects across Northumberland, including an extra £440,000 on the current £1.5m investment to acquire part of the Bunker site in Hexham to create a public car park.

Other projects set for Tynedale include the installation of solar panels on Hexham’s Wentworth Leisure Centre and Prudhoe Waterworld.