LIS deadline needs to be extended

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Cllr Luie McEntire

LIS deadline needs to be extended

There are fears dozens of private laneways in need of repair could miss out on vital capital funding because the deadline for them is too short.

The Government’s decision to reintroduce Local Improvement Schemes (LIS) has come in for much approval following repeated lobbying at a local level.
But there are concerns the scheme’s reestablishment will rule out significant numbers of pending applications due to a short lead-in time for applications to be submitted.
The Department of Rural and Community Development has written to local authorities and asked them to identify potential projects by tomorrow (Thursday).
The scheme had previously been viewed as a vital tool for local authorities to carry out essential repair and upgrade works on private roads.
Fine Gael councillor Micheál Carrigy gave a thumbs up to the news, citing how the scheme had originally been “scrapped” by the 2011 led Fianna Fáil government.
However, according to one of the Fine Gael group leader’s north Longford colleagues, the timeframe set down is overly restrictive.
“It’s surely positive that it (LIS) has been brought back, but it’s hard to believe that it (timeline for applications) is so short,” said Cllr Luie McEntire.
Cllr McEntire revealed the area likely to be worst affected was his own electoral area with 70 per cent of around 100 eligible applications situated in north Longford.
He called on Rural Affairs Minister Micheal Ring to prolong the scheme given the limited cut-off period.
“The staff in the (Council’s) environmental section have to prioritise what schemes need doing and they have until the end of November to complete the schemes which is too short,” he said.
Cllr McEntire also highlighted doubts he held in terms of what criteria is used to prioritise one scheme over another.