Thursday 23 November 2017

Council accused of trying to 'hide' Aston Village problems


ASTON VILLAGE residents are demanding action from council officials on their unfinished estate amid allegations of a bid to ' hide' problems being encountered in having vital works completed.

In particular, they want to know why a notice of questions from Cllr. Imelda Munster, who is seeking answers about the snag list and €540,000 cash bond for the estate, was not included in last month's council meeting.

There were angry exchanges at Monday's meeting of Louth County Council, with Cllrs. Munster and Thomas Sharkey branding Cathaoirleach Finnan McCoy 'a disgrace' and County Manager Joan Martin calling the councillors' accusations ' totally unacceptable'.

'I had five specific questions that I wanted individual answers to in the notice of questions, and that was were deliberately blocked before Louth County Council's last meeting in an effort to conceal the difficulties they have encountered by not taking the cash bond from the developer,' Cllr. Munster told the Drogheda Independent.

'I have made attempts to get answers on behalf of the residents for the past 18 months, to no avail, and this is the first time in my memory that a notice has been refused to be put on the agenda. They can't cherry-pick what goes on and have no right to do so.'

Manorpark Homes, the developers behind the estate, went into receivership last year leaving the estate unfinished and with no cash bond for the works.

Receivers were appointed but Kenneth Flood from the Aston Village Residents Association said there was major concern in the estate at the latest developments.

'We have been asking to see what snag list has been agreed between the council and Manorpark's receivers for months now, but we have had no luck and now they are ignoring a councillor,' he said angrily.

' There are serious issues outstanding – not just cosmetic problems – but missing gullies, poor drainage, cracked footpaths and cobblelocking that needs to be replaced. That's not to mention the derelict shops and tiles missing from roofs there.'

Cllr. Munster raised the issue before, at the Louth County Council meeting last April, when she says the same questions were not satisfactorily answered.

' The general feeling is that they have something to hide and when you're talking about something as serious as human waste pouring into people's back gardens, you can't afford to stall any longer.'

The Sinn Fein councillor has said she will once again submit the questions for next month's meeting until the residents get their answers.

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