No funds to maintain dual carriageway
WICKLOW County Council will only take charge of the Charlesland spine road and not the dual carriageway following a vote at September's monthly meeting.
Cllr. Derek Mitchell proposed that the local authority only take charge of the spine road because the council didn't have the finances required to maintain the dual carriageway.
'There are 5,000 people living in that estate. It's a big place with around €600,000 coming into the council from the household charge and rates from the factory there. It will cost a lot of money to maintain the dual carriageway. The Area Manager for Greystones keeps telling us he has no extra money for maintenance purposes. I would not be prepared to take over the dual carriageway until management come up with a realistic proposal to maintain the road.'
Cllr. George Jones added an amendment to Cllr. Mitchell's proposal which called on the council to defer taking charge of the dual carriageway until they engage in discussions with the six management companies currently maintaining the estate to see if they would also fund the maintenance of the road.
He added that Charlesland was the biggest residential housing estate built in Ireland over the last 10 to 15 years.
'The residents are already subjected to substantial management fees to management companies for their apartments and houses. The Area Engineer has clearly stated he doesn't have the capacity to maintain this dual carriageway..'
However, a number of the elected members of the council were displeased by the comments of Cllr. Mitchell and Cllr. Jones.
Cllr. Pat Vance said it was 'outrageous' to state that just because 'an area pays rates they are entitled to hold up taking charge of a road.'
He added, 'any councillor anywhere in the county could put a gun to an official's head and say not unless we get a management plan for this, that or the other. It's basically blackmail. If an estate meets the requirements then it should be taken in charge.'
Cllr. Nicky Kelly felt, 'certain area councillors seem to want rules in one part of the county completely different to the rest of the county.'
Director of Services, Des O'Brien advised that the dual carriageway should be taken charge of by the council.Cllr. Mitchell's proposal, along with the amendment from Cllr. Jones, was put to the vote and narrowly passed, with 11 voting in favour, 10 against, 1 abstaining and 2 not present.