‘Putting lipstick on a pig’ – councillor accuses Government of ignoring key Waterford developments
The Fine Gael-led minority Government is making Waterford “jump through hoops” for “crumbs” while ignoring crucial developments needed to enable the city and county to grow, a local councillor has claimed.
Fianna Fáil councillor Eamon Quinlan spoke out after the Government last week announced significant €3.7 million in funding for Mount Congreve gardens through the Rural Regeneration Scheme.
Cllr Quinlan welcomed the funding, but said it amounted to “putting lipstick on a pig”. And citing the announcement by Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring of the awarding of €241 million to upgrade roads between Westport and Castlebar in his own constituency, Cllr Quinlan said Waterford continues to lag far behind other counties when it comes to Government investment.
He said: “This is a scandal. Westport only has four thousand people. Dropped into their laps. At the same time Waterford has been jumping through every hoop demanded of us by this Government in relation to funding for the North Quays and we still won’t receive Government commitments around the €110 million euro we asked for.”
Cllr Quinlan also criticised the Government for turning down seven local projects as part of the Town and Village Scheme. These include:
- €200,000 for completion works to the Railway Station Building in Tramore;
- €100,000 towards the development of a Dungarvan 2040 plan;
- €100,000 for design elements to coastal access to Metalman in Newtown;
- €100,000 for Portlaw connectivity to Curraghmore House & Estate;
- €100,000 for Melleray to develop an innovative honey house project;
- €80,000 for fit-out of a Digital Hub in Villierstown;
- €100,000 for the fit-out of tea rooms in Clonea Power and design costs for facility development.
“Waterford isn’t looking for special treatment, just fair treatment. The above are examples of transformative initiatives created with the cooperation of local stakeholders and Waterford [City & County] Council. Nothing seems to ever meet their changing criteria to warrant the type of investment that Waterford is bringing to the table. It appears that in many ways this Government has become the biggest barrier to Waterford’s development than any other factor,” Cllr Quinlan (pictured below) added.