THE tightening of the public purse strings is beginning to frustrate local politicians.
Requests by councillors for repairs to infrastructure like roads or the addition of traffic lights or junctions boxes are increasingly rejected by Kildare County Council officials on the basis that there is no money in the coffers.
One councillor Seamie Moore complained about the “rapid deterioration” of the road structure off the Main Street in Naas but was told that there is no funding for resurfacing works although “routine maintenance and remedial patching” will be done “subject to budgetary and personnel constraints.”
Cllr. Willie Callaghan got the same response when he asked for traffic calming measures along the Naas Road in Kilcullen.
Cllr. Callaghan said it is becoming next to impossible for councillors to get a light repaired.
“Member of the public are coming to us asking to get work done and all we are told is that there is no money. Surely to God between the five of us (councillors representing the Naas area on Kildare County Council) we’re entitled to more than that.”
Cllr. Callaghan, the Naas Mayor, said the county councillors are getting no cooperation.
“The answer to everything cannot be that there is no money available. At the moment we can’t even find E900 to put down a junction box at Roseville, Naas,” said Cllr. Callaghan at a KCC area meeting.
He said many of the requests are simply to improve road safety and in some cases to facilitate children walking to school safely and the gardai are in agreement with many of these.
Failure to address some of these issues, he argued, could lead to a fatal accident.
Naas Town Manager Eamonn O’Sullivan said part of the problem was the responsibility of the Department of the the Environment for closing down a grant scheme through which money was channelled to the council.