Deputy Michael Healy Rae TD has called on Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to put his hand into the pocket of his own department and help support the Department of Rural Affairs which is unable to provide financial support for some 673 remaining Local Improvement Schemes (LIS) in Kerry.
Under LIS, funding can be provided to local authorities for the construction and improvement of non-public roads (that is roads not taken in charge by local authorities)
Kerry’s Local Improvement Schemes
The Kerry deputy asked the Minister for Transport if his department would contribute funding along with the Department of Rural and Community Development for local improvement schemes through a parliamentary question, but Minister Ryan stated that that the option of allocating a proportion of the Department’s Discretionary Grant to LIS no longer applied and this will remain his position on the matter.
Further Funding Stream
“If we do not get a further funding stream it will take decades to finish Local Improvement Roads and many people will see their roads deteriorate back to almost famine time conditions. Many of these roads may not be vital in the sense of national roads but if untouched will totally closed down many parts of rural Kerry for many elderly rural people who depend on their roads for access to towns and villages” Deputy Michael Healy Rae stated.
In Keeping with Policy
“I can’t say I’m disappointed with the response as it seems to be in keeping with this current Government policy to close rural Ireland by a thousand cuts, but I am disappointed with the Minister’s response to at least not review the decision. I call on him to review this matter once again and to put his hand into his department’s pocket and find some funding to help reduce the Local Improvement Scheme backlog” Deputy Michael Healy Rae added.
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