If you always do what you always did – you will always get what you always got -Daly


A Government TD has proposed a maintenance scheme involving private
contractors to tackle the County’s deteriorating road network costing
just 1% of the total motor tax collected in County Cork which he
claims will greatly enhance over 1,000 Km’s of roadway as he plans to
raise the issue of Cork motorists subsidizing other local Authorities
in the Dáil next week.

Cork Southwest Fine Gael TD Jim Daly has called for a new way of doing
business in County Hall when it comes to maintaining local roads.
Describing the issue as being at crisis point, Deputy Daly is calling
for a change of direction from County Hall management to refocus
attention on the maintenance of road side drains and verges to ensure
the removal of water from the existing road network. Jim Daly has
proposed a maintenance plan to County Hall which will cost EURO 1.4
million and will provide for the clearing of drains and cutting of
hedges along 1,000 KM’s of local roads throughout the county. The
scheme will involve the use of private contractors who have quoted Jim
Daly EURO 700 per Km of roadway using a mini digger, dumper and hedge
cutter. The total investment of 1.4 million euros is just over 1% of
the motor tax collected in County Cork which amounted to EURO 130 million
in 2012.

“I believe if you always do what you always did – you will always get
what you always got. It is time for a radical shift away from the
practice of continually filling potholes only to have the work undone
by the next shower of rain. It is time for a new approach which will
involve the clearing of the water tables and cutting back the hedges
which will greatly enhance the quality, look and safety of our local
roads.” stated the Clonakilty based TD.

Cork County Council with ten Area Offices is responsible for the
maintenance of 10,320 Km’s of local road network across the County.
Under the scheme proposed by Jim Daly each Area Office will allocate
EURO 140,000 for the clearing of water tables and cutting of hedges along
100 Km’s of roadway identified as most in need of work by the local
Councillors and Area Engineer in each of the ten Area Offices
throughout the County.

Deputy Daly is meeting with officials from the Department of transport
and his Government Colleague Minister Leo Varadkar to seek support for
the initiative. “I am confident of getting support for this proposal
provided we get the necessary assurances from County Hall that the
money will be ring fenced for the maintenance works outlined in my
proposal. I also hope to secure the support of the members of Cork
County Council for this new way of addressing the current crisis on
our local roads. EURO 700 per Km of road is exceptionally good value and
is the equivalent of many people’s car tax per year.” added Jim Daly

At a meeting in County Hall the Manager confirmed to members that over
62% of the road maintenance allocation in 2013 went towards staff
costs and this compared unfavorably with best practice which is at
40%. The Manager indicated that this was not sustainable for the
Council.

Deputy Jim Daly concluded by stating that he fully supports the call
by Cork County Council to have the monies raised under Motor tax
collected in County Cork allocated back to County Cork. Describing
what he called as “a gross injustice perpetuated by successive
Governments”, the Fine Gael TD outlined that despite 12.25% or EURO 130
million of the total Motor Tax returns being collected in County Cork
in 2012, Cork County, City and Town Councils together were only
allocated 8.4% of the total allocation of General Purpose grants in
2013 by the Department of the Environment. “I have conducted a study
of the monies collected from Motor Tax and the subsequent allocations
from the Department of the Environment to all of the Local Authorities
in the County of Cork. There is no doubt but Cork motorists are
subsidizing other local Authorities. This is an issue I have sought
permission from the Ceann Comhairle to raise in the Dáil with Minister
Phil Hogan in the coming week”

Ends.

Notes to editor

There was EURO 130 million collected in Motor tax in Cork(County & City)
in 2012 compared to EURO 3.4 million in 1975.

Over 62% of roads budgets went on Payroll costs in Cork County Council
in 2013. This has increased from 52% in 2012 and compares to best
practice at 40%. Ref; Minutes of Council meeting March 11th 2013.

Private Contractors have quoted me EURO 700 per Km of roadway to clear the
dykes using a Mini Digger and Dumper and hedge cutter to cut the
Hedge. This equates to EURO 140,000 per 100 km’s as both sides of the road
need to be done at EURO 700 per km
.
In 2012 there was EURO 1.054 billion collected in Motor tax and
EURO 129,206,502 of this was in Cork (City & County). This equates to
12.25%

In 2013 the Department of the Environment who collect the Motor Tax
income centrally and redistribute General Purpose Grants to each local
authority allocated EURO 640,903,434. Cork (City, County and 9 Town
Councils) were allocated EURO 53,963,353 which equates to 8.4% of the
entire fund.

Dublin City collected the largest amount of Motor tax in 2012 at
EURO 266,735,071 with Leitrim collecting the least amount at EURO 7,357,834.