Supporting Local News

Dedicated footpaths team ‘could reduce compensation claims’

Sinn Féin would push for the appointment of a crew dedicated to footpath maintenance and repair if it returned to City Hall.

Mark Lohan, the party’s local election candidate in the City Central ward, said an in-house footpath repair team at Galway City Council would pay for itself – by reducing compensation payout settlements from falls on damaged pavements.

The former city councillor said that in turn would reduce insurance premiums for public liability.

Mr Lohan said hiring private contractors to do repair work piecemeal ‘doesn’t cut it anymore’.

“Residents deserve safe, clear, and usable footpaths. No one should walk our footpaths and face unnecessary risks of falling due to poor repair. It’s time to have a dedicated crew of direct hired workers made up of journeypersons and apprentices. This would be a cost saving measure and give the city a way to repair and maintain services more efficiently,” the trade union representative said.

Mr Lohan said worn and broken footpaths on city streets and in estates were commonplace.

Repairs were currently done by private contractors, funded on a project-by-project basis when funding allows, he said.

“This sets up our neighbourhoods in competition with each other for what is a basic service responsibility of the local authority. Areas should not have to wait over other areas to have their footpaths maintained and fixed,” Mr Lohan said.

A dedicated crew working within Galway City Council would be more cost effective and offer better value for money, he said.

“A fulltime footpath crew would be kept busy year-round and there would be no shortage of work for them. They would ensure that our public paths are in top shape, and this would have an additional payoff in reduced falls due to unrepaired cracks and potholes.

“This would end up reducing the annual payout the Council makes for these falls. The reduction in those compensation payments will also reduce the liability insurance payments,” said Mr Lohan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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