Council defers adoption of roads budget

The adoption of the 2017 annual Road Works Programme in Co Cavan has been deferred for a month after, and for the third year in a row, divisions emerged with regard the provision of funding for a Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) for private roads and laneways.

For the most part, an almost 8% increase in funding from central government for regional and local roads in Cavan this year, the first since 2009 and bumping coffers to €9,117,182, was widely welcomed.

It adds to the grant allocation of €6,850,892 for the improvement and maintenance of the National Road Network in the county, and coupled with own the Council's own contribution of €2,326,376, brings the total sum to be spent on county roads this year to almost €18.3 million.

The allocation will support ongoing improvements on the National Road Work in the county, to include the N3 Butlersbridge to Belturbet Improvement Scheme, N55 Corduff to South of Killydoon Realignment Scheme, as well as work on N3 Virginia Main Street.

But there was considerable anger among members of the Fine Gael party who fumed that once again the choice to use 15% of the Council's initial Discretionary Grant towards LIS, given the increase in funding, was not taken up.

The local contribution for such schemes remains at 20%, and several Councillors declared a clear case of “discrimination” against private lane dwellers, a statement denied by the Council executive.

Amid cross-party sniping, it was finally decided to defer the adoption of the works programme until next month's meeting in order to seek a meeting with Minister for Transport Shane Ross to lobby him for the reintroduction of a dedicated separate allocation to fund LIS.

See next week's newspaper for full Road Budget report...