Residents in the Cartrun Breac estate in Longford town who claim that they are being forced into paying the controversial household charge, despite the area remaining unfinished, had the matter addressed at last week’s local authority housing meeting in Longford.
The residents say that Longford County Council inadvertently included the development in a county-wide survey of estates liable for the charge, even though half of it is currenly in receivership.
The address at the meeting came on foot of a notice of motion by councillors Paul Connell (Ind), Peggy Nolan (FG) and Mae Sexton (Ind), who queried why the estate in Lisbrack, Longford was “omitted from the Category 3 & 4 of unfinished housing estates eligibility for waiver for the Household Charge Legislation”.
“This housing estate is unfinished,” said Cllr Connell. “It has been taken in charge and yet it has been omitted from that list – why has this happened?”
Head of Finance, Barry Lynch then pointed to the fact that Longford Co Council had not been asked by the Department to “provide a list of estates for excemption under the household charge”.
“We did provide a list under the following headings – unfinished; receiver appointed; developer in place, but no on site activity and no construction activity on-site,” added Mr Lynch. “Under the current legilsation, that is all that we were asked to do.”
“Well it’s very bad legislation that would allow for specific estates – only,” said Cllr Sexton. “I suggest that we write to the Department and see if this issue can be sorted out.”
Before Cllr Sexton’s proposal was seconded, Cllr Martin Mulleady (FF) pointed out that “unfinsihed estates are a disgrace”.
“The media really should be doing something on them,” he remarked. “There is one in Drumlish – Glaseen – and it is unfinished and disgraceful. These estates are a disgrace and there is no way that residents living on them should be expected to pay a household charge; it is just not on.”