HEREFORDSHIRE Council has agreed to borrow more than £4m to help fund the repairs of flood- damaged roads across the county.

The B4224 from Fiddler’s Green to Fownhope was severely damaged by Storm Dennis earlier this year, with a substantial part of it subsiding.

The cost of reinstating the road and repairing the collapsed retaining wall is expected to be £2,565,000.

Work to put right damage at various other sites and addressing instability issues in Whitney-on-Wye bring the total amount needed to £4,027,000.

The council had anticipated that the Government would come forward with funding for this repair work.

Councillors said North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin made public statements saying the funding was available.

But this has not been forthcoming, and councillors have now sought to plug the gap by borrowing money. Conservative councillors proposed to instead pay for the repairs with cash from the council’s financial resilience reserve.

However, their amendment was defeated by 27 votes to 22.

Finance and corporate services cabinet member Liz Harvey told the extraordinary council meeting on August 3 that increasing the council’s borrowing always needed careful consideration.

“If the Government and Mr Wiggin have a change of heart this borrowing will not be needed.

“But the decision before us today as full council would allow us to fund urgent works at Fownhope, Whitney-on-Wye and lots of other locations around the county.

“It spreads the cost of that work across the expected lifetime of the road repairs, therefore it also retains our important cash reserves so that we can continue to be agile and flexible in response to further Covid threats and opportunities.”