BY DYLAN MANGAN
A CAMPAIGN to halt Council works in Minane Bridge is underway, with the local authority accused of ignoring residents’ appeals to scrap plans that would turn the village into a ‘parking lot.’
Tracton Community Council (TCC) say they have been lobbying for the installation of a footpath from the village to the local school for close to 30 years, citing safety concerns.
They have proposed to the Council that the road should be widened to facilitate it – with land available to do so.
However, planned Council works will instead see the introduction of a set of traffic lights and a one-way system to allow for the construction of a footpath further down the line.
Senator Tim Lombard (FG) has said that trust between the public and the Council in this situation is at an all-time low. ‘I’ve never seen this level of discontent,’ he said, adding that if public wishes were to be ignored, it ‘beggars the question, why go for public consultation?’
Senator Lombard said that there has been no indication of the costings of the project or how long the works would be in place.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Richard McCarty, chairperson, said that the current plans would ‘turn the village into a parking lot,’ and that the Council has repeatedly ignored the community’s wishes.
‘The long and short of it is that the public have been ignored and democracy has been overwritten,’ he said. ‘We are a one-road village, and the installation would block up amenities. Harvest season will see dozens of tractors backed up in the village.’ Mr McCarthy says that they are in the dark as to why their appeals have been ignored, saying that they have received no reasoning from the Council for the decision. ‘We can only make assumptions,’ he said. ‘There has been no justification for it.’
TCC said that 54 out of 56 submissions from the public were vehemently opposed to the scheme,’ and that ‘public opinion has been overwhelmingly disregarded.’
‘We have overwhelming community support and support means pressure! Pressure on elected councillors in the district from voters – the right thing needs to be done.’