Claims Longford public are being 'hoodwinked' over LIS

Claims Longford public are being 'hoodwinked' over LIS

The Government is facing fresh claims this week of deliberately 'hoodwinking' people into believing money would be made available for Local Improvement Schemes (LIS).

 The accusation was one which was levelled at the newly rearranged Fine Gael led coalition at a recent meeting of Longford County Council.

Cllr Luie McEntire said he was getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of certainty being provided by government chiefs over the scheme.

Previously curtailed towards the latter end of 2011, LIS had been used as a means to upgrade private or non public roads.

Local authorities like Longford predominantly carried out the works while local communities contributed to the scheme by way of a 15 per cent investment.

In recent times, local councillors headed by those in the north of the county have continually raised the need for the scheme to be reintroduced.

It was a controversy which Cllr McEntire chose to reassert at last Wednesday's local authority meeting.

Taking aim at the incumbent government under newly elected Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Cllr McEntire bemoaned the deteriorating state of many private laneways in north Longford.

“There was this talk  in 2016 of a special allocation (of money) that was coming at the end of the year and they (government) hoodwinked people on that,” he seethed.

As he continued his outburst,  the veteran Fianna Fáil politician also chose to deride claims by Fine Gael's Micheál Carrigy of financial assistance coming on stream next year.

  “Micheál is talking about 2018. Are we going to hoodwink the people again about LIS?”

In an attempt to appease largely rural based homeowners and farmers, Cllr McEntire advocated the possibility of affected homesteads undertaking works themselves “in lieu” of funding being made available.

“There are several families willing to do that which would cut down costs,” he implied.

Fine Gael Cllr Paraic Brady had earlier called for the Council to consider taking in charge such roads where work has been carried out by a community and which meets the standards of the local authority.