The Fine Gael/Labour Government Budget 2012 decision to abolish the
Local Improvement Scheme is another attack on Rural Ireland. In 2011 €
303,000 was provided to carry out improvements to lanes in County
Cavan. The abolition of the Scheme in 2012 has left sixty four
applications awaiting attention in Cavan, work estimated to be in
excess of € 2million.

‘The figures provided by Joe McLoughlin, Director of Services at the
February meeting of Cavan County Council show that over 60
applications are on hand in Cavan with a waiting time of over five
years. There are many more than 60 families affected by the abolition
of the LIS in 2012.’

Noting that with the allocations provided over the past five years
County Cavan had completed a large number of lanes, improving access
to rural homes and farms. The work completed with a 15% contribution
from the landowners who also undertook additional work.

‘This Scheme brought about great value-for-money. It reduced rural
isolation, improved access to agricultural holdings, assisted older
people to stay in rural homes for longer with the easier access
of doctors, nurses, home helps and clergy to their homes. The Scheme
could also be used to upgrade roads serving other locally important
sites such as bogs, graveyards, historic sites.’

Minister Hogan when he met the Cavan County Councillors last week
admitted that the decision to remove funding for the LIS was ‘a bit
harsh.’ It is more than that claims the West Cavan Fianna Fáil

‘Despite very challenging economic times the previous Fianna Fáil
Government retained some funding for the LIS so that people could at
least see some hope of getting their road done. This Government has
slammed the door shut on the LIS. Anyone can make a mistake but this
is the second time a Fine Gael/Labour Government has abolished the

Councillor Feeley referred to planning policy which insisted that we
avoid ‘ribbon-development’ of house along main roads and in turn
encouraged householders to build off main roads on country lanes.

‘ Councillors of all parties referred to cases they knew of long lanes
in poor condition with householders unable to drive cars to their
homes or indeed farmers unable to receive deliveries of animal feeds,
fuels or have milk tankers call to them. This is a hugely anti-rural
measure. The Council agreed to lobby Minister Varadkar and Hogan to
re-instate funding as soon as possible. I also believe that all rural
organisations, the IFA, the ICMSA, Macra naFeirme, the ICA and any
other rural organisations should also take up this cause, after all
having good public roads is of little value if a person cannot get to
them from their home,’ concluded Feeley.

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