On Tuesday Januray 26th, Minister Paschal Donohoe announced €298million of funding for regional and local road maintenance and improvement. This money is distributed to county councils around the country and once again Kildare has lost out.
Although the total amount available has increased by €4m nationally, Kildare’s allocation has dropped from €10.7m in 2015 to €9.9m for 2016. That €800,000 drop is equivalent to 95% of the budget for footpaths in 2015.
But we have to ask, is it any wonder we lose out on funding when our government TDs are asleep at the wheel? On the back of Tuesday’s announcement we have press releases from Tony Lawlor, Emmet Stagg, Bernard Durkan and Fiona McLoughlin-Healy (clearly not a subscriber to this site) all stating their delight and welcoming the funding.Not one of them mentioned the fact that the funding is down from the 2015 allocation.
In particular, I’ve called Tony Lawlor out on this before. Last year he welcomed Leader funds with open arms only to find out afterwards that Kildare was at the bottom of the table!
It’s becoming increasingly clear that these guys have been resting on their laurels since elected. There’s been no effort to promote our county nor even the slightest attempt to influence the senior decision makers.
Perhaps there’s a very valid reason for Kildare to lose out on funding to Mayo (where Michael Ring was able to announce increases in Road Maintenance & Improvements five days before the Minister officially announced it! – see picture below).But the fact remains, our “representatives” in Kildare are far more worried about getting their press releases out than asking the tough questions when they need to be asked.
Kildare deserves better representation than this.
Update: Of the 2,000+ people that saw my social media updates on this and heard my comments aired on KFM, it seems Fiona McLoughlin Healy was not one of them. She has also “welcomed” this drop in funding:
We shouldn’t be surprised of course, with a general election due in just four weeks we can expect plenty of politicians falling over themselves to get their press release or Facebook post out well before they check their facts!