Hampshire County Council has denied that talks have taken place with Rushmoor Borough Council over granting increased devolved powers with highways issues.
The Empress ward councillor and cabinet member for concessions and community support said the talks had come off the back of the ‘Take Back Our Roads’ campaign, which was launched in Farnborough in March after the controversy surrounding the Queens Roundabout improvement scheme, which ran six months and £1.7 million over budget .
The campaign has been calling for the borough council to be given further devolved powers over highways matters as campaigners say there should be more localism and accountability over the roads in the borough.
But county councillor Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, says talks between the two authorities were focused on agency arrangements for some environmental maintenance.
Cllr Humby said: “This story is totally incorrect. There have been no talks between Hampshire County Council and Rushmoor Borough Council about devolving highways powers, Hampshire County Council is the highway authority and is responsible for highway services.
“We have, however, been in discussion with all the district authorities over agency arrangements which cover some environmental maintenance such as grass cutting and weed killing operations which some authorities carry out as our agents and on our behalf.
“Some local councils also carry out, again on behalf of the county council via an agency arrangement, minor traffic management matters such as local parking restrictions, and highways advice on some planning applications where the district council are the planning authority.”
He also added that it makes sense financially for aspects of the new highways services contract to be delivered by district councils.
Cllr Humby added: “As we are putting in place a new highways services contract for Hampshire in 2017, we are looking very closely at how we can achieve best value for money across all highways maintenance, carrying out work as efficiently and effectively as possible."