Rural cash not being spent by Councils: Ó Cuív

Eamon O Cuiv

RURAL and Community Affairs Minister, Michael Ring, has been asked to put measures in place to ensure that local authorities spend the money made available to them under the CLÁR and Town & Village Renewal schemes.

According to West Galway Fianna Fáil TD, Éamon Ó Cuív, new figures provided to him revealed ‘massive gaps’ in the amount of money allocated to Councils as compared to the actual amount of money spent on specific project.

Figures released to Deputy Ó Cuív in relation to a Dáil question showed that some local authorities had either spent none of their 2016 allocation or only a small portion of it.

“Despite the fact that Minister Ring claims that his Department are continuing to work closely with all relevant Local Authorities to ensure that any remaining funding allocated to them is spent promptly and in accordance with the original project proposals, he needs to get a grip on the situation.

“This funding was for 2016. We are over 9 months into 2017 and there are huge gaps between the amounts of money which have been handed over to councils and the amount which has been spent on approved projects. In fact, only 55% of the money allocated has been spent,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

He cited the example of Donegal Co. Council ‘who hadn’t spent a cent’ of €380,000 allocated to them under the Town & Villages scheme for 2016 while Cavan had only spent €57,000 from their €380,000 allocation.

According to the information secured by Deputy Ó Cuív, Galway Co. Council has fared better than many counties, although significant amounts do remain unspent.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.