The statement by Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Brian Hayes TD, that public spending will be reduced by €3.6bn in the 2012 budget has raised concern that Bray’s long awaited Dargle Flood Protection Scheme could now be shelved.
Cllr David Grant has stated that over the past number of months the project has gone through its final stages with a contractor being nominated following the tendering process and a subsequent legal challenge.
Now that the final hurdles have been cleared, Minister Hayes has yet to give the go-ahead for the project to start.
The scheme, which involves a significant amount of work on the natural habitat of the river can only be carried out between certain times of the year. This window is beginning to close and the Minister has still not put in place the funding for the contract to start this year.
The delay in sanctioning the works inevitably means that the project will not start until next year at the earliest and with the Minister’s comments this week that he is to cut public expenditure in his Department there is no certainty that the Dargle Flood Protection Scheme will happen anytime soon.
“The Minister has the file on his desk, all design, technical and tendering processes have been completed, it is up to the Minister to sign off and commit the multi-annual funding needed for the project to start this year. Anything less than this commitment will leave residents in the Little Bray area in an indefinite precarious situation,” said Cllr Grant.