04 Jul 2022

Councillors voice disappointment over 'exclusion' of local contractors from works in Limerick towns

Councillors voice disappointment over 'exclusion' of local contractors from works in Limerick towns

The concerns were raised at a meeting of councillors representing the Newcastle West Municipal District

COUNCILLORS in Newcastle West have expressed their disappointment about a building framework document that “excludes” local contractors.

As part of the Home Improvement Scheme, those living in social housing in the district can apply for grants to make alterations to their home.

The Newcastle West District has been allocated €100,000 for the scheme with up to 75% of the costs covered by the council.

Once they apply for the scheme, tenants must get a quote from a contractor before being approved for the grant.

Cllr Liam Galvin, Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District of Newcastle West welcomed the scheme but outlined his concerns about the list of contractors involved.

Cllr Galvin said it was “unacceptable” that many local contractors were not on the list, including those who had previously done work for the council in the district.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of the Newcastle West Municipal District, Conor Collou, Head of Housing Maintenance for Limerick City and County Council said that every contractor had the opportunity to apply to be included on the tender process.

Mr Collou said he could not be seen to contact individual contractors to tell them to apply as this would be “unfair”.

Councillor Francis Foley said those who have previously done work for the council should have been informed of the tender process.

After reading the list of contractors who had been included in the framework document, Cllr Galvin said that they had failed the people they represent locally and contractors coming from surrounding counties could not give the same level of service.

In a letter to Dr Pat Daly, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council, Cllr Galvin said the “the cornerstone of local government is the representation of local people.”

“Our memories are very short if we are satisfied to turn our back on local contractors, these being the very people who have been nothing but supportive of this Local Authority especially in emergencies.

“I can cite several examples of local contractors going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that difficult situations were resolved regardless of day or time.”

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