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Labour Cllr Smith queries spend on Drogheda streetscape

Barlow House
Barlow House, Drogheda. temporary home of Drogheda Borough Council. Photo Credit: Barry Landy/LouthNow.ie.

Labour Councillor Pio Smith has called on Louth County Council to provide a detailed report on expenditure put towards work on the streetscape in Drogheda over the last year – demanding to know whether money promised by the local authority and voted for by councillors is being used as it should.

He tabled a motion during Monday’s Drogheda Borough Council monthly meeting in which he requested the council provide a list of all work related to streetscape in Drogheda, along with costings of each project. In December 2018, the council – after several aborted attempts – adopted a budget that included a €300,000 spend on such work in Drogheda alone.

“I and others voted to pass a budget that said in 2019 and 2020 money would be spent on the streetscape in Drogheda – €100,000 in 2019 and €200,000 in 2020,” Smith told assembled councillors and officials in the meeting.

While the council did provide a lengthy list of works carried out – at locations including St Dominck Bridge, Bridge of Peace, Old Abbey Lane, Boyne Cycle Trail, Tholsel, St Peter’s Church and Dominics Park – no costings were provided.

“I’m voting to pass a budget and – in particular relation to here in Drogheda – I’d like to know if the money is spent and if it isn’t spent, where’s it going to? How much do each of these works cost?”

According to Director of Services Paddy Donnelly the costings were not provided due to a clash with the Christmas holidays and annual leave, meaning the council were not in a position to examine their financial records to provide the individual costs. Donnelly said the costs would be circulated to members as soon as possible.

Given the time of year, the timeline with annual leave – it requires an examination of the financial system and we couldn’t do it in the time available.

“There’s a lot of areas around the town – in terms of streetscape – that needs work done,” Cllr Smith added. If the €300,000 has been spent on the Drogheda streetscape – great. If not, why not?”

Independent Cllr Kevin Callan supported the motion and queried when work would be undertaken on footpaths around St Laurence’s Gate.

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