THE length of time it is taking Donegal County Council to take over housing estates has been branded “totally unacceptable”.
Local election candidate Cathal McGlynn says the issue has become a cause of “” frustration and disappointment” for residents.
The Independent candidate, who is a resident of Ballymacool estate in Letterkenny, has also hit out at sitting county councillors over their ineffectiveness on the issue.
“The takeover of Ballymacool is something I as a resident have been working on for a number of years”, he said.
“We were assured that the takeover would be complete by the end of August 2018 but since then we have heard very little. Despite contacting the engineer overseeing it on a number of occasions recently, we have gotten no further. This is totally unacceptable and we are frustrated and disappointed by the lack of progress. There appears to be no end in sight.
“The taking over of estates seems to have become a never-ending process for those residents involved with the planning service. Residents committees who have made applications to the council in good faith were entitled to expect that the matter would be dealt with in a timely manner, but this has not been the case.”
Mr McGlynn said the hold up appeared to be a “lack of will or resources” on the part of Donegal County Council.
“I have every sympathy with the staff of the planning service on this. I’m of the opinion that the problem here traces back to drastic cuts in staffing levels over the last seven years which have seen staff numbers drop by around a third. The responsibility for that lies with the chief executive who has pursued a reduction in the council’s deficit at the expense of staff and services to the point where a lot of council services have been hollowed out and appear to be services in name only. That is clearly the evident in the case of estate takeovers.
“It is long past time that sitting councillors sat up and took notice of the problem and held the executive to account instead of rubber-stamping budgets which are the root cause of many of the daily problems faced by the people of Letterkenny and the wider county.
“Councillors, particularly those tied to the political parties, seem to be content with the crumbs from the table and fear that challenging for better service provision will see their pet projects suffer. If elected I will work to protect services from cuts and will provide the necessary challenge to the executive that the political parties are so reluctant to provide,” Mr McGlynn vowed.