Drogheda-based councillor Oliver Tully has queried why Ardee and Mid-Louth was receiving new funding allocated this month – specifically to areas designated as suffering from deprivation.
ThisIsArdee.ie reported last week that Ferdia Park in Ardee is to receive €3,000 for estate improvements as residents work to upgrade the area which formerly housed the town’s recycling bottle bank.
The allocation of money from the RAPID Recast National Capital Grant Programme was presented to and passed by councillors at the December meeting of the Ardee Municipal District committee.
However, the Drogheda Independent reported this week that Fine Gael councillor Tully questioned why Ardee and Mid-Louth was now to receive funding that previously had been allocated only to areas in Dundalk and Drogheda.
“Since when did Ardee have any areas of deprivation? The funding should be split between Drogheda and Dundalk. It’s a total seachange to allocation funding to an area not designated as a RAPID area,” he told the Drogheda Municipal District meeting, according to the newspaper.
However, he was told that the programme had been recast and is now not only confined to established areas of deprivation in the town biggest towns in the county. Just over €65,000 was allocated to various projects countywide.
A total of €15,200 was allocated to projects in the Ardee Municipal area, with money also going to Tallanstown Tidy Towns (€3,000 for estate improvements in Cherrywood Park), Kilsaran (€3,972.50 to replace a broken boundary fence), Castlebellingham (€2,227.68 for new bins) and Dunleer (€3,000 for Beechwood Drive planting).
The €3,000 sum granted to Ferdia Park will go towards creating an attractive green/garden area at the front of the housing estate.
€29,000 has been allocated to projects in Drogheda and €22,000 for projects in the Dundalk area. The funding aims to support disadvantaged areas in order to enhance urban communities and provincial towns, address disadvantage and improve social cohesion.
It was proposed at a meeting of the Local Community Development Committee last month, by Ardee-based councillor Dolores Minogue, that council officials and social inclusion representatives on the LCDC contact organisations and groups within disadvantaged areas in Ardee and Mid-Louth.
Areas of disadvantage were identified through the Pobal Deprivation scale, as ThisIsArdee.ie reported on last month. The published report stated that Ferdia Park, as well as many other areas in the town, was classified as ‘disadvantaged.’ It had the highest rate of unemployment as of the Census 2016.
Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie last week, Minogue said, “I’m delighted that this funding has gone to Ferdia Park to tidy up where the bottle bank was. It’s funding that they wouldn’t have themselves.
“The funding usually just goes to Dundalk and Drogheda but I couldn’t sit in on that meeting and see Ardee and Mid-Louth get nothing. I proposed that Mid-Louth be looked at and that social inclusion be extended to all disadvantaged areas,” she continued. “I’m delighted that Mid-Louth got funding. We fought tooth and nail for it.”
Despite Tully’s comment on the Ardee area, councillors in Drogheda passed their allocation. The RAPID programme will return next year.