CORK County Council is embarking on an ambitious €517.6m capital spending programme over the next three years which will see significant investment in housing, roads, recreation and amenity, flood programmes and services.
At a recent meeting of Cork County Council, Lorraine Lynch, head of finance, outlined to councillors the spending programme which will see the Council for example, spend a total of €191.7m on housing, which includes €160.5m on social housing and €13.7m on voluntary housing.
Ms Lynch described the plan as a ‘rolling programme’ which will change as part of an annual review and said that €389m of the total amount is for ongoing programmes of works, while the remainder of €128.6m is subject to funding.
Some of the projected spending will include €6.4m for coastal protection, which will see improvement works to existing harbours as well as storm damage repair to coastal areas.
Transportation studies are also to be carried out in Castletownbere and Carrigaline, while funding will also be allocated for the refurbishment of the Briery Gap Theatre in Macroom and a skatepark in Carrigaline.
The estimated spend allocated for roads is €163.6m, with €86.7m pencilled in for national routes and €9.7m for regional routes.
Both the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney by-pass and the N28 Cork to Ringaskiddy roads are included in the project spending.
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) welcomed the announcement of the three-year spending plan, but reiterated the ‘shocking state of roads in West Cork’ which he described as ‘not up to scratch’ and pointed out that a lot of villages and towns in West Cork were losing out due to the cuts in Leader funding.
Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) said it is a very ambitious programme, but he was also critical of the funding for the maintenance and upgrade of the national secondary routes.
‘These are the forgotten routes and the funding for these should go up to several million,’ said Cllr Murphy.
His colleague Cllr Susan McCarthy said that there is a large difference between €9.7m for regional and local roads and €86.7m for national roads.
Ms Lynch pointed out that a lot of funding for local and regional roads is included in the revenue budget each year, not the capital budget.
Mallow-based Independent Cllr John Paul O’Shea welcomed the plan and said the €3m that is to be allocated for footpath improvements is not enough.
When divided between eight municipal districts, it would only amount to €125,000 per district, per year, he said.
Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) called for cycle paths to be taken out of recreation & leisure, and included instead in the roads section.
Council chief executive Tim Lucey said that the three-year programme outlines a whole range of projects that Cork County Council would like to progress.