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26/10/2021

Minister Ross "very busy" and can't meet with councillors

Cuts to community schemes

Minister Ross "very busy" and can't meet with councillors

Minister Ross is "very busy."

A request by local councillors to meet with Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross over the failure of his Department to fund Local Improvement Schemes and Community Involvement Schemes has been unsuccessful.

A reply from the Minister's office acknowledged the request dated March 14 but stated the Minister's diary is “very busy” and he would be “unable to schedule any more appointments at present.”

The Minister replied that separate grant allocations were not being made for those schemes due to funding restraints.
He said local authorities are able to set aside 7.5% of the Restoration Improvement and Restoration Maintenance grants for CIS schemes if they so wish.

The Minister said that as the economy recovers, he will review the scope for making a separate grant allocation once the planned Review of the Capital Plan is completed.

At last Monday's meeting of Carrick-on-Shannon Municipal District Court, councillors were not happy with the response from the Minister.

Cllr Sean McGowan described the reply as “very disappointing” and said there has been none of those schemes in the county since 2011 and Leitrim has lost a lot of money over the years.
“To say you can take it (funding) off your annual allocation, it's just not on,” he said.
“We should let the Minister and the Department know it's just not good enough,” Cllr McGowan said.

Cllr Seadhna Logan quipped, “In fairness to Minister Ross, it must be hard to hide from all the bus drivers.”

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