New figures show the Conservative administration at county hall has managed to underspend its capital programme by a staggering £45m, of which £42m is ‘slippage’ – namely planned projects not being delivered.

Malcolm Cowan, LibDem spokesperson for finance, said:

This may sound dry, but what it means is that over £40m of improvements to classrooms, libraries and fire stations did not happen. So right across the county there are children being taught in mobile classrooms far longer than they need be.

It is unavoidable that some projects will fall behind, for good reasons and bad. What is not acceptable is that, once it is known a scheme cannot be delivered to the original timetable there are not other schemes ready to take their place.

With a backlog of building work that is costed in hundreds of millions of pounds, they need to be getting on with work as quickly as possible. Instead the Tories just claim that nothing can be done.