Councillor Erin McGreehan has expressed her disappointment that Louth County Council are unable to open applications for the Local Improvement Scheme LIS and the Community Involvement Scheme CIS for 2020.
The local authority confirmed in a letter to elected representatives on Monday that due to the amount of outstanding applications and expected funding for the scheme in 2020, they are not opening up either scheme for new applications.
The CIS (Community Involvement Scheme) encourages a joint approach between Louth County Council, groups of local residents and landowners for the restoration of public roads, mainly local or cul de sacs. The scheme is based on a contribution from locals towards the full cost of the works, between 15% and 30%.
The LIS (Local Improvement Scheme) supports improvement works on private and non-public roads which are vital to the functioning of every day life in rural Ireland. Like CIS, this is based on a contribution from locals towards the full cost of the works.
Cllr McGreehan, in a statement, highlighted her regret at the announcement. “There are tertiary roads all over this county that are in a disgraceful and dangerous state and the council do not have the funds to fix them. The LIS and the CIS have been the schemes that facilitated the upgrade of these roads.
“Most disappointingly we were informed today that since ‘outstanding applications …. significantly exceeds expected funding available for 2020. We will not be accepting applications for 2020.’
“Tertiary road is a misnomer,” the Riverstown based councillor said. “These may be called minor roads, but have major importance. They have thousands of people living on them, hundreds of families who pay their property taxes and deserve safe and adequate road conditions.”
“The next government, whoever that may be, [should] take into consideration the chronic underfunding of Local Authorities and make funds available to Councils to upgrade these minor roads.”
In the letter issued to councillors on Monday afternoon, Louth County Council said, ‘As the number of outstanding applications for both Community Involvement Scheme (CIS) and Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) significantly exceeds expected available funding for 2020 we will not be advertising CIS or LIS in 2020. Accordingly, we will not be accepting any applications in 2020.’
In February last year, Louth County Council was allocated €250,000 from the Department of Rural and Community Development towards the LIS scheme. Earlier this year, now former Minister for Transport Shane Ross confirmed that €16 million would be provide nationwide for the CIS Scheme in 2020.