Hogan hits out at LCRL spend

Department of Environment officials have urged Longford Community Resources to spend over €4m in Leader funding still to be paid out under the Rural Development Programme (RDP).

Department of Environment officials have urged Longford Community Resources to spend over €4m in Leader funding still to be paid out under the Rural Development Programme (RDP).

It comes after figures released by the Government showed the local company have so far allocated over four-fifths of their budget, just €2.7m has been invested locally.

“Recent figures indicate that while Longford Community Resources Ltd have allocated in excess of 80 per cent their €7m budget, only approx. €2.7m or 37 per cent has been paid out so far,” said a Department spokesperson.

This has led Environment Minister Phil Hogan to issue a strongly worded plea to development companies like LCRL to ensure all monies are committed to before the programme ends later this year.

“The poor performance of some Local Development Companies has unfortunately been a feature of the Programme,” said Mr Hogan.

“For example last year only 60 per cent of the funding I provided for LEADER was actually spent and this meant that €39m allocated was not drawn down by Local Development Companies for projects that I’m aware are badly in need of funding. How can this be the case?”

One way local companies could alleviate the situation, according to Mr Hogan, is by carrying out reductions on day-to-day administration costs.