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Development Companies in Galway concerned about local authority takeover

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Four Local Development Companies in Galway have raised concerns over proposed local Government reforms.

Comhar na nOileán, Forum Connemara, Galway Rural Development and Galway City Partnership are speaking out over the plan to transfer programmes they deliver to local authorities.

These are the Local and Community Development Programme and the Rural Development Programme.

Chair of Forum Connemara, Terry Keenan describes the move as a retrograde step.

CEO of Comhar na nOileán, Majella Ní Chríocháin says the islands are particulary vulnerable to such proposals.

Chair of Galway City Partnership, Margaret Ó Riada says the organisation feels threatened by the proposals.

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NUIG defends its repeat exam fee policy

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – NUI Galway has defended its repeat exam fee policy.

The university has released a statement following calls from Students’ Union leaders to remove such repeat fees and also to give students the option to repeat exams if they feel they could have achieved better grades in normal circumstances.

In a statement released by the University, it says students who are in the most need of financial support can apply for a fee waiver for repeat exam fees, and access to this fund has been widened in the past year to reflect the financial strains under the current pandemic.

In the past year, the University states it has expanded supports for emotional and financial wellbeing to address the Covid-19 crisis.

It says there is no fee for deferring exams, and the repeat exam fee, which is unchanged for the last two years, supports all costs associated with repeats, from the setting and correcting of assignments in a more challenging context this year, to the hosting of exams online and the awarding of results.

NUI Galway has said it “charges a flat repeat fee and other universities charge a repeat fee per module,” – adding that “more than 99% of students subject to the fee will pay less than in any of the other universities charging this fee.”

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152 homes refurbished for social housing use in Galway last year

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Over 150 homes were refurbished for use in social housing schemes in Galway last year.

As part of the 2020 Voids Stimulus Programme, over 2,500 homes have been brought back into use nationwide, with 152 delivered in Galway.

As part of the programme, over €40 million was allocated for the refurbishment of 2,500 vacant social homes.

By the end of 2020, 1,925 were occupied with a further 640 tenancies accepted.

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Over one thousand new Galway addresses added to GeoDirectory database last year

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Over one thousand new addresses in county Galway were added to the GeoDirectory database last year.

Dublin accounted for the largest proportion of new address points with 33% of the total, followed by Cork at 11% and Kildare at almost 9%.

Galway recorded 4.9% of all new addresses while the smallest numbers were added in counties Leitrim and Longford.

The report by GeoDirectory finds more than four percent of houses nationally are empty.

Donegal, Mayo, Roscommon and Leitrim have the highest vacancy rate, with more than one in 10 homes empty.

Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Waterford meanwhile have the lowest rates.

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