The Sinn Féin EU Midlands North West candidate, Matt Carthy, has said that the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, needs to reassure Local Development Companies about their funding and ensure their future viability.
Carthy was speaking after addressing a public meeting organised by Monaghan Integrated Development on Monday night.
“There is huge uncertainty and concern about the future of Local Development Companies. This was evident at the public meeting organised by Monaghan Integrated Development this week. The Minister for the Environment has failed to give clarity to these organisations which make a huge contribution to our communities and often fill gaps left by government failures.
“The message relayed by community activists is one of real concern about how Local Development Companies can navigate their way to the next funding period. This is not good enough.
“It was disappointing that not a single Fine Gael TD or County Councillor attended the meeting and is further evidence of that Government party’s disregard for this sector.
“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.
“It is clear that Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, has handled this badly. It is time Minister Hogan gave Local Development Companies the clarity that they need regarding their future operation.
“I am calling on Minister Hogan to ensure that there will be a meaningful engagement between his Department and the Local Development Companies so that the kind of concerns that I heard at the meeting of Monaghan Integrated Development last night are addressed.
“The Minister also needs to ensure that the views of those communities that are served by Local Development Companies, including disadvantaged and marginalised communities in particular, are listened to.”