Senator Kathryn Reilly has called on the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to reassure Local Development Companies about their funding and ensure their future viability.
She stated the on-going failure of the Minister is causing huge uncertainty and concern in rural areas.
Senator Reilly said:
“Right now it's unclear what the future holds for Local Development Companies. There is confusion about how they can navigate their way to the next funding period. Clarity is needed so that proper planning can provide for possible changing circumstances. Successful LDCs need to be able to transition smoothly to second phase funding.
“Lack of clarity regarding delivery mechanisms and working and contractual arrangements between Local Community Development Committee’s and Local Development Companies has created a lot of uncertainty. In my own area, companies like Breffni Integrated and Monaghan Integrated Development, have experienced this confusion.
"The Minister’s clumsy handling has caused disarray in the community sector particularly in rural areas. It should be noted that Alignment Working Group has not met since September last year. The Minister needs to be held responsible for any knock-on effects.
“On behalf of these groups, I am expressing my serious concern about the direction of the Alignment process nationally. We cannot afford to allow the damage to take place, particularly in rural areas where every venture possible is needed to help boost the economy and keep jobs afloat."