The public want and deserve to know how and why Mayo county council had to hand back more than one million euro allocated from Government, for projects in the county not completed, and pay penalties for failing to comply with the rules of a funding scheme. That’s the view of Westport based Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn.
He says it’s not unreasonable, but rather necessary to get answers to ensure the same does not happen again and that’s why elected councillors, he says, have insisted that a special meeting of the authority takes place next month to discuss the action plan that council management is putting in place so that it doesn’t occur again.
Last month it was revealed that the authority had to return €1.1 million in capital funding to the Department of Rural and Community Development for a failure to finish and, in some cases, even start works along the Clew Bay Greenway.
A further 160,000 euro in penalties has to be paid for a number of other projects in the county where the council failed to comply with the conditions of the Dept funding scheme, known as the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
The funding debacle came to light following an external audit by the Dept of Agriculture in 2019 on Mayo County Council’s accounts.
The CEO of Mayo Co Co Kevin Kelly has admitted that a number of issues arose over practice and procedures concerning funding that had been allocated to the authority in 2019 under the scheme.
The scheme demands that no monies can be drawn down until the projects are completed, however, Mayo County Council got it wrong and drew down the monies without completing the projects in some cases, and not having started them in other cases.
Earlier this week, at the monthly meeting of Mayo County Council, elected councillors insisted on more details from council management on what went wrong and have called the special meeting for the end of next month to get more specific answers.
Cllr Peter Flynn spoke to Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley about the debacle..