Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Rural, Regional, Gaeltacht & Island Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív has called on Minister Michael Ring to put measures in place to ensure that local authorities are spending money allocated to them under the CLÁR and Town & Village Renewal Schemes.
New figures provided to Deputy Ó Cuív reveal massive gaps in the amount of money allocated to councils under these schemes, and the amount of money that has been spent on these projects.
Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “Despite the fact that Minister Ring claims that his Department is “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.
“In Cavan, €380,000 was allocated for projects under the Town & Village Renewal Scheme and only €57,000 has been spent. Donegal County Council also secured €380,000 under the same scheme – not one cent has been spent, while in Wicklow €70,000 was earmarked for CLÁR in 2016 but only €5,675 has gone towards these projects to date.
“Minister Ring must bring this situation under control. Councils cannot be allowed to hoard funding for months on end when key projects are crying out for investment. It is essential that this money reaches the rural communities which need it the most”.