Leitrim County Council

Council staff are treating councillors "like dirt"

Carrick-on-Shannon Municipal District

Donal O'Grady

Reporter:

Donal O'Grady

Email:

news@leitrimobserver.ie

Council staff are treating councillors "like dirt"

Aras an Chontae, Carrick-on-Shannon.

At a discussion on the proposed Area Programme Works for 2017 for the Carrick-on-Shannon Municipal District members asked for more time to study and digest the plans for the coming year.

However, one councillor, Cllr Des Guckian, was not happy with what, in his case, was excluded from the proposed programme accused the engineering and administration staff of the Council of “treating them like dirt.”

The matter arose last Monday as members were asked to consider the schedule of works for 2017 but Cllr Sinead Guckian said they had only got the details and maps the previous Friday and needed more time to digest it. She said they normally have seven days to read over it and normally then have a meeting about roads before it is finalised in the chamber.

Cllr Sean McGowan agreed it was a very short timeframe for them to get a grasp on it and he agreed that they always did have a separate roads meeting to make suggestions and amendments.

Cllr Des Guckian said he was concerned by the contents of the report and the lack of allocations to minor roads and laneways such as his own Derrywillow Lane and the road from Faulties Bridge to Derrycarne.

“I nominated these two and I don't see them on it and I wonder why,” he said.

Cllr Sinead Guckian made a proposal, seconded by Cllr McGowan, and it was agreed that members would hold another meeting on the matter on Monday, February 27.

Cllr Des Guckian agreed and said their aspirations should be included in the plan and there was still time to do that.

Shay O'Connor, Senior Engineer, Roads, said this year's works are part of a three year programme of restoration improvement grants and there is nothing really new in it.

He said to Cllr Des Guckian that he was not the only councillor to submit roads that were not included and said if a road is added to the plan, another road has to be removed from it.

Cllr Guckian replied, “The engineers and administration staff of Leitrim County Council are treating us like dirt.”

Mr O'Connor said that was “a terrible comment” and they treat all councillors with the utmost respect.

Cllr Sinead Guckian said she totally disagreed with the comment made by Cllr Des Guckian.

Cathaoirleach, Cllr Finola Armstrong-McGuire, said she understood that the engineers do what's best and she trusted them totally to do that.

Mr O'Connor said it has already been well flagged what is in the current three year roads programme and they are sticking rigidly to that.

“It is disappointing but we have had the same roads funding for the last few years and it's not enough to satisfy everyone,” he said.