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Oireachtas committee hears proposals for development of Galway-Limerick ‘supercity’

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – An Oireachtas committee has heard calls for the development of a Galway-Limerick ‘supercity.’
The matter has been raised by Galway East TD Ciaran Cannon, who says investment in the two nearby cities as a unit would provide a massive boost to the economy of the west.
Deputy Cannon has pointed out that Galway’s commuter towns are performing well – but towns and villages further out from the city are still struggling due to a phenomenon known as ‘distance decay.’
He’s told an Oireachtas committee that developing Galway and Limerick as a single ‘conurbation’ could provide huge benefits to the entire region.

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11 Galway schools included in Safe Routes to School programme

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – 11 Galway schools are to receive funding to improve their walking and cycling infrastructure.

It’s part of the government’s Safe Routes to School programme, which aims to make children’s travels safer and tackle congestion at school gates.

Four primary schools in Galway city and seven primary and post primary schools in the county are among the 170 schools nationwide which have been included in the pilot scheme.

932 schools have expressed interest in the scheme since March, and will be included over time on a rolling basis.

Minister of State at the Department of Transport and Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton says the projects will provide enhanced infrastructure for children who want to cycle, walk or scoot to school.

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Audit criticises financial practices at Galway City Partnership

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – An internal audit has criticised a number of financial practices at Galway City Partnership.

The investigation by Crowleys DFK accountants found the anti-poverty group made payments to contractors without receiving invoices, breached public procurement rules and did not regularly maintain accounting ledgers.

The Irish Times is reporting that auditors found Galway City Partnership’s accounting system ‘may not be fit for purpose’ and identified several weaknesses, which it said risked exposing the organisation to financial loss.

The audit, which was completed in February 2020, found the company’s general accounting ledgers were ‘not maintained on an ongoing basis’, and discrepancies between spending and allocated budgets were not tracked, it said.

One supplier had been providing services to the company for a number of years, ‘bypassing procurement procedures’, the audit said.

The investigation also criticised instances where payments were made without invoices being received.

In response, Galway City Partnership told the auditors the payments ‘were part of a research contract and as such no invoices were received’.

The report identified five high-risk weaknesses and concluded assurances that could be placed on the company’s financial controls were limited.

Declan Brassil, Galway City Partnership chief executive, said it had agreed a number of actions following the audit, which were now in place.

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City Council launches new cycle parking map

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Galway City Council has launched its new cycle parking map.

The dashboard has details of the over 1,000 on-street public cycle parking spaces available in the city.

It comes as the Local Authority installed 296 new cycle parking spaces in 2020 – as well as a further 66 spaces during the first quarter of this year.

The City Council says the new map will help it to identify locations where additional cycle parking is needed.

Those wishing to access the dashboard can find it online at galwaycity.ie/cyclingmap.

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