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.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.