Date Published: 18-May-2011
By Denise McNamara
The Environment Minister Phil Hogan promised a new era for local government with increased funding and greater powers given to councils to foster community development and job creation.
During a visit to the county in which Minister Hogan was answering questions from Galway County Councillors, he announced funding of €7 million for the Clifden sewerage scheme with a further €2.8 million to build the Claregalway and Milltown sewerage schemes.
He later officially opened the Luimneach upgrade for the Tuam regional water sewerage scheme extension. He also opened the Headford sewerage scheme and the Gortmaoillar voluntary housing scheme in Athenry.
Addressing the chamber, the Minister said a lot of agencies did not always coordinate well when it came to job creation and there was a lot of duplication.
“The money should follow through the local government system down to community groups. You’ll see a lot more activity through the council. The county and city enterprise boards…should work more closely with local authorities,” he told councillors.
“I’ll be bringing in proposals to achieve more devolution. The financing of local government is the key.”
He said under the IMF/EU programme for funding household charges such as water fees would be ring-fenced for local government.
Outside the meeting, the Minister acknowledged there was a need for massive investment in services in Galway.
“There is a huge infrastructural deficit in County Galway in water and sewerage services. I’m very conscious of that,” he told reporters.
“We have to meet our water framework directives. We have to have good water quality in order to do business in order to create jobs. There is a very high value tourism product in Galway and Galway city as well, I’m very conscious of that.”
Construction on the Clifden sewerage scheme has long been delayed, with paperwork holding up the much-needed infrastructure to improve bathing and drinking water. This week’s announcement should see the project begin this year.
Tenders will be now be advertised by the council and a preferred contractor decided before the department gives its final approval. Minister Hogan told councillors his department just received revised design reports for Kinvara and Loughrea water supply schemes and is currently reviewing them.
He added that he expects the Costello Regional Water Supply Scheme to go ahead this year.
He met with county manager Martina Maloney and officials for an hour in preparation for a policy statement on local government that he will be publishing in the autumn that will address issues relating to the further development and enhancement of the local government system.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.