Cllr Pearse McGeough: ‘Tenants have Rights Too’

Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough informed Louth Chief Executive Joan Martin that “council tenants have rights too” at this month’s Council meeting.

The issue was raised by Cllr McGeough and several other councillors during the manager’s report. Cllr McGeough said “there are council tenants that are waiting for maintenance works to be carried out and many have been waiting for quite some time. Financial constraint is the reason being given as to why these repairs are not being carried out. Repairs are still being prioritised but what M/s Martin fails to recognise is that Council tenants have rights too.”

Cllr McGeough compared the Council to a private landlord and said “if a private landlord said they couldn’t afford to repair a tenant’s home because they didn’t have enough money, can you imagine the furore there would be? Their tenants would be entitled to report them to the Residential Tenancy Board.”

“All landlords have responsibilities including ensuring the property is in good condition and to carry out repairs within a reasonable time. There is an onus on landlords to ‘reimburse the tenants for any repairs they carried out on the structure that they requested with the landlord which the landlord did not carry out within a reasonable time’. Louth County Council is a landlord and they are not adhering to these rules.”

Councillors also raised the issue of ‘voids’ or vacant properties in the county. M/s Martin told the chamber that the only way she could afford to turn these properties around was if the Cllrs present increased the Local Property Tax by a full 15%.

Cllr McGeough said “there is a fund at central government to help with vacant properties and we need to avail of that to the maximum. It is a disgrace that we have over 70 ‘voids’, not to mention the vacant properties boarded up around the county while there are families with children living in B&Bs and hotels and people living on the streets.”

Sharkey – Report Needed on Road Repairs

Tomas Sharkey PhotoCouncillor Tomás Sharkey wants the management of Louth County Council to compile a report on the condition of Louth’s 3rd Class roads in order to make a case to central government for funding to repair them.

“There are approximately 380 kilometres of 3rd class roads in Louth. Throughout the economic crisis these roads have not received maintenance never mind improvement. Thousands of families live on these smaller and often cul de sac roads. I have met with residents across Louth who are fed up avoiding potholes on their way in and out of their homes. Farmers have been notified that dairy lorries will not travel substandard roads. Children are unable to walk for school buses in some instances because the road surface is so bad.
“I have asked council officials to prepare a dossier of our roads. I want us to be in a position to make the case with central government for additional funding in 2017.
“The onus is on the Fine Gael minority government and their Fianna Fáil masters to formulate a budget that guarantees our roads are in an acceptable condition.”