Fine Gael Cork South West Deputy, Jim Daly, has welcomed the announcement of a new Pilot Community Involvement Scheme by the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar TD, which paves the way for local communities to contribute to the restoration of local roads, funded by local authorities. Deputy Daly said this Scheme will be particularly welcome in rural areas where roads need to be upgraded to allow for the transfer of local roads to local Councils.
“Minister Varadkar has launched a Pilot Community Involvement Scheme (CIS) which will allow Councils to apply for funding for the upkeep and maintenance of local, and in some cases regional, roads. This move will be welcomed in many areas, especially in light of the fact that County Councils are no longer permitted to set aside a percentage of their Restoration Programmes for CIS.
“When a road has been approved as being suitable for a funding application, the cost of the works will be assessed, with consideration being given to the cost of machinery, labour and traffic management costs. The community can then contribute anything from 20% to 50% of the total cost, in monetary terms or in kind, by supplying labour or machinery directly. Councils can then prioritise the roads and apply to the Department of Transport for funding. If successful, the Council covers the percentage cost that has not been met by local residents.
“Works can include anything from the repair of potholes and road strengthening works to the removal of grass verges or banks and the opening of backshores. This Scheme will offer much needed assistance to many local communities, allowing them to get the jobs done that have been ignored for too long. It will also allow local communities to bring privately owned lanes and roads up to standard so that responsibility for them can be passed over to the Council for future maintenance.
“The closing date for Councils to apply for funding is 19th April. This means that application requests from communities will have to be submitted by mid-March to ensure that applications to the Department can be made in time. I would urge anyone who is interested in taking part in this Scheme to contact their local Council office without delay so that their road can be assessed and funding can be secured for their project.
“I will continue to press for a scheme for West Cork which will allow for unemployed persons to assist Councils in the maintenance of roads. I am in ongoing discussions with the Ministers responsible, and their officials, to bring about a project of this nature for the benefit of local communities and the unemployed.” ?Ends?