The headquarters of Mayo County Council.

Progress on council accessing funding streams for Mayo projects in 2022

THE Department of Community and Rural Development is looking positively disposed to Mayo County Council accessing funding in 2022.

A number of measures are being implemented following the recent funding fiasco, with audits due to be finalised by the end of May.

Disappointment was again expressed by elected members at their monthly meeting after Mayo received no funding under the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) for rural roads.

Cathaoirleach Councillor Michael Smyth, in an update, confirmed engagement has been taking place with the department and they are positively disposed to the council accessing funding from various streams this year.

Chief executive Kevin Kelly said a number of changes have been undertaken in relation to procedures and financial controls, with a number of pieces of work outstanding. Reports and audits are nearing completion, in May.

“It is our expectation that on completion of those reports and reviews and their presentation to the department, we will be in a position to talk with the department about gaining access to all of the funding streams again,” Mr. Kelly told members.

Welcoming the comments, Councillor Damien Ryan said the electorate want to know how soon will the county get back to receiving grants again.

Councillor Patsy O'Brien said communities, who worked hard on grant applications, had felt let down, noting how €50 million has been allocated in schemes nationally, with not one cent coming to Mayo.

And yet, he said, he had not heard of anyone being made accountable.

Encouraged by what he had heard, Councillor Al McDonnell said he had confidence in the executive and department resolving any outstanding issues.

A request for a shorter timeframe than the end of May in preparing the reports was made by Councillor Michael Burke, whose colleague Councillor Peter Flynn agreed that speed is of the essence, as did Councillor Donna Sheridan who said reports should be delivered by the end of the month.

Mr. Kelly said if it can be done earlier it will be done.

What the department are looking for, he said, is certainty and assurances about the changes that have been made and controls are there for the future.

The council, he added, was as disappointed as anyone that communities have not got funding this year and are working hard to deal with this in the least possible amount of time to get back into the funding streams for 2022.