Water cash welcome but ‘falls short’

Extra money for Laois water is a good step but still falls short of what is neded by people who are members of group water schemes around the county, according to Sean Fleming TD.

Extra money for Laois water is a good step but still falls short of what is neded by people who are members of group water schemes around the county, according to Sean Fleming TD.

Last week the Minister for the Environment and Local Government, Phil Hogan confirmed an extra €360,000 for Laois schemes, bringing the total to almost €620,000.

While welcoming the extra money, Deputy Fleming said Laois had been short-changed. “I was pleased to that the Minister has done a “U turn” and agreed to allocate additional funding,” he stated.

“This still falls short of the figure of at least €800,000 that should be allocated to a county the size of Laois for the year, but is definitely a step in the right direction,” said the Fianna Fáil TD.

He said that €150,000 of these additional funds will be spent on taking over the Ballyfin Group Water Scheme, while €160,156 will be spent on upgrading and water conservation projects on the Group Water Schemes in The Heath, Cullohill, Donaghmore, Errill and Ballypickas.

A further €50,000 will be spent on ensuring the drinking water complies with proper standards in a number of small public water schemes throughout the County.

Deputy Fleming said Laois County Council should receive its fair share of the national allocation of funding for 2013 and subsequent years.

Brian Stanley TD also welcomed the announcement.

“In March I highlighted the fact that the Department was allocating just €257,000 for Laois and that this was down from €3.2 million in 2008. While the overall figure is significantly down on previous years, the additional funding of €360,156 to the County Council is more realistic,” he said..

He said there were a number of water schemes in the county that urgently need funding.