Greater transparency needed when builders carry out council works

Fresh calls are being made for leading building firms to submit thorough preparatory information before carrying out works on behalf of local authorities.

Fresh calls are being made for leading building firms to submit thorough preparatory information before carrying out works on behalf of local authorities.

The appeal was made by Cllr Gerry Warnock at the recent meeting of Longford Town Council after discussions were held on the recent redevelopment of the town’s St Michael’s Road.

Regeneration Project Manager with Cluid Housing Association Fiona Cormican said concerns were still lingering over the state of the road along the Congress Terrace and Ward’s Terrace areas, some three months on from the scheme’s overall completion.

She said fears had been allayed that building works linked to the project were to blame for the road’s current state.

This, she said, was largely down to the fact photographs had been presented by the contractor concerned prior to works being carried out.

“The contractor took photos before construction took place and reinstated the damage that was done,” she said, revealing also that an application had been made to the Government for additional funding so as to carry out restorative works.

However, Cllr Gerry Warnock said building firms presenting visual images in order to distance themselves from any blame was inconsequential.

“I have heard stories like this down at the county council too and it’s a total nonsense,” he remarked. “To me, it is not good enough. Before any job is done, a full engineer’s report should be taken. The people of Congress Terrace have had to suffer heavy goods vehicles for a number of months and all they are asking for is that the road be blended in so that it doesn’t look like an eye-sore.”

Cllr Brendan Gilmore, who was standing in for Mayor, Cllr Peggy Nolan, was equally critical, claiming many residents at that end of town were “prisoners in their own homes.”

He said: “I think the contractor could have done more for the people of Congress Terrace and Ward’s Terrace. They (residents) put up with a lot and I think they deserved their road to be finished better.”

Cllr James Keogh disagreed, saying a new throughway adjoining the existing road may have been a contributory factor for a street which had been in “quite a bad state” before refurbishment works took place.

Cllr Tony Flaherty, though, supported the view put forward by Cllr Warnock, following a meeting held with concerned residents just months earlier.

“If we believed half of what they (homeowners) told us that night, then it (road restoration) has to be a priority. I’d be inclined to think 90 per cent of that (damage) was done by the contractor. I would say there was more traffic on that (road) for the past 12 months than there was since the road was built,” he said.