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Government aiding and abetting flooding & housing crises – Ó Clochartaigh

9 December, 2015


Leagan Gaeilge Thios - Irish Version Follows

The government must address the lack of resources being provided to local authorities which are exacerbating the flooding, housing and water crises according to Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Speaking in the Seanad today, Senator Ó Clochartaigh says:

“I called for an urgent debate in the Seanad on the chronic under resourcing of local authorities. At briefings for Oireachtas members in the last couple of weeks with management of Galway City and County councils they made it quite clear that they are at breaking point as regards staffing and resources for essential services such as housing, roads and water infrastructure.

“It is clear that the flooding problems locally have been compounded by the lack of capacity to do maintenance and drainage works on an ongoing basis and essential upkeep of roads in local areas.

“Not enough money is available for building social housing or repairs, maintenance and improvement works to existing housing stock which might help address some of the housing needs. The local authorities are also being asked to take on the Housing Assistance Payment schemes which will mean thousands more on their client lists, without the proper staffing allocation and training being made available to deal with the workload.

“Even though the government maintain there are plenty resources available to local authorities in relation to Traveller Accommodation, the Director of Services in Galway County Council with responsibility for this area said their application for funding last year was turned down point blank by the department and he doesn’t understand why.

“Irish Water is also putting pressure on the local authorities to cut back on personnel contracted to them to support water and sewerage projects which will mean in less resources being available in those areas as well at a time when we have raw sewage being pumped into our seas and water supplies failing to meet EPA standards.

“Planning offices are delaying pre-planning meetings due to a lack of engineers to facilitate them and development is being stymied as well.

“All of this is the legacy of Phil Hogan’s ‘Putting People First’, but which is also due to a lack of resources from Minister Kelly and the government generally.

“It is quite clear that local communities are being very badly affected as a result and that we are going to see more chaos in the New Year if the serious concerns of local authorities are not addressed.”

 An Rialtas ag cur agus ag cuidiú le géarchéimeanna na dtuilte & na tithíochta – Ó Clochartaigh

Caithfidh an Rialtas aghaidh a thabhairt ar an easpa acmhainní do na h-údaráis áitiúla atá ag déanamh na géarchéimeanna tuilte, tithíochta agus uisce níos measa, dar le Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar – Maigh Eo Theas, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Ag labhairt dó sa Seanad inniú deir Seanadóir Shinn Féin:

“D’iarr mé díospóireacht phráinneach inniu sa Seanad maidir leis an easpa mór acmhainní sna h-údaráis áitiúla. Ag cruinnithe do bhaill Oireachtais le Comhairlí Chontae & Cathrach na Gaillimhe le déanaí rinne an bhainistíocht an-soiléir é go bhfuil an córas ar tí cliseadh ar fad ó thaobh fóirne agus acmhainní do sheirbhísí riachtanacha ar nós tithíocht, bóithre agus infreastruchtúr uisce.  

“Tá sé soiléir go bhfuil fadhbanna na dtuilte go h-áitiúil níos measa mar gheall ar an easpa cumais chun deileáil le h-oibreacha leanúnacha draenála agus cothabhála agus uasghrádú bóithre áitiúla.

“Níl dothain airgead curtha ar fáil do thithíocht sóisialta ná oibreacha deisiúcháin, cothabhála ná feabhsúcháin ar an stoc reatha tithíochta a d’fheadfadh cuidiú leis na riachtanais tithíochta. Táthar chun an Íocaíocht Cuiditheach Tithíochta (HAP) a chaitheamh anonn ar na h-údaráis áitiúla chomh maith, rud a chiallaíonn go mbeidh na mílte de chliaint breise tithíochta acu, gan an fhoireann cuí ná an oiliúint a theastaíonn a chur ar fáil chun déileáil leis an ualach breise oibre. 

“Cé go ndeireann an Rialtas go bhfuil neart acmhainní ar fáil do na h-údaráis áitiúla i dtaca le Tithíocht don Lucht Siúil, rinne an Stiúrthoir Seirbhísí i gComhairle Chontae na Gaillimhe iontach soiléir é gur diúltaíodh scun scan d’iarratas uathu an bhliain seo caite agus nach dtuigeann siad cén fáth ar tharla sé seo.

“Tá Uisce Éireann ag cur brú ar na h-údaráis áitiúla chomh maith gearradh siar ar phearsanra atá faoi chonradh leo chun tacú le h-oibreacha uisce agus fuíolluisce chomh maith, rud a chiallóidh go mbeidh níos lú acmhainní ag dul i dtreo na réimsí sin ag am a bhfuil séarachas amh ag dul amach sna farraigí againn agus soláthar uisce atá ag sárú caighdeáin atá leagtha síos ag an Áisíneacht Cosanta Timpeallachta.

“Tá oifigí pleanála ag cur siar cruinnuithe réamhphleanála de bharr ganntann innealltóirí, rud atá ag cur bac ar fhorbairtí freisin, deirtear.

“Tá sé seo uilig fágtha mar oidhreacht againn ag Phil Hogan, a chum agus a cheap ‘Putting People First’, ach de bharr easpa acmhainní ón Aire Kelly agus an Rialtas tré chéile chomh maith.

“Tá sé thar a bheith soiléir gurb iad na pobail áitiúla ar fad atá thios leis seo agus go mbeidh an córas ar fad trína chéile níos mó san Athbhliain muna dtugtar aghaidh ar imní na n-údaráis áitiúla, mar ábhar phráinne.” 

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