At this month’s Ardee Municipal Council meeting Councillor Tom Cunningham raised questions on the allocation of amenity grants in the County.
The Sinn Féin Councillor said “The Amenity Grants were up for approval again. Last year I had asked for a review into how this money is allocated as there did not appear to be any structure or guidelines on the amount a housing association or estate could claim.”
Cllr Cunningham said “In previous years some estates were getting €2,000 while other estates of a similar size in a different part of the county may have only got €100. It just didn’t make sense so I asked that this be reviewed.”
At this month’s meeting Cllr Cunningham was told the review had been carried out.
“I welcome the outcome of the review, there is now a template in place which is fair and just. In light of this I have now called for a further review, this time into how the Amerntity Grants are allocated to Tidy Towns Groups and Development Groups. I want to see a fair and just template in place for this funding as well.”
“These are public funds and they should be divided in a fair manner county wide.”
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Imelda Munster TD, this week raised the issue of confusion amongst sports clubs regarding whether funding would be released under the Sports Capital Grants scheme in 2016.
Questioning the Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan TD on the matter, Munster asked him if a decision had been made on whether funding would be allocated this year, as no indication has been given by the Minister or by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD to date.
Teachta Munster said:
“Sports groups around the country are anxious to know whether or not this funding will be available to them this year. At a recent Transport Committee meeting Minister Ross said that this was a political decision to be taken by himself and the Minister for State. We’re into July now and no decision has been made. Are the Ministers trying to drag out the year so that the next announcement will be for 2017?”
Minister O’Donovan denied that there was confusion and said that the decision has yet to be taken but that he was unable to give an indication of when this might happen.
Munster again asked him to clarify when the decision would be made, to enable groups and clubs to plan ahead.
“These grants are of huge importance to sports clubs, and it’s not fair to leave them unsure as to what funding is available this year. I can’t understand why you cannot give us a date so that clubs know whether there is funding or not.
“The Programme for Government commits to annualising this grant. If we don’t see it this year then Ministers Ross and O’Donovan will have broken that promise.”