Cllr Fiona Bonfield wants more funding for local roads and footpaths
Labour councillor Fiona Bonfield is calling for more funding to be allocated to local authorities by central government for road and footpath infrastructure.
Cllr Bonfield, a candidate in the Newport electoral area in the local elections, said that if re-elected she wanted to work with her colleagues to highlight the major deficit in funding for road and footpath improvements.
“It is quite evident that the demand for road and footpath improvements is far higher than the capital allocation the local authority are receiving from central government," she said
Cllr Bonfield said that there needed an increase in the amount of funding allocated to ensure we can meet this demand in a faster manner.
"It is not fair for people who are forking out a vast amount of money on car repairs because the road infrastructure is so poor. In addition, we have some people unable to walk around their communities because of the footpath quality or in some instances the absence of a footpath,” said Cllr Bonfield.
She also feels that improved road and footpath infrastructure is key for balanced regional development.
“If we want to attract industries and jobs to our region then we need to ensure we have good infrastructure. Central government need to acknowledge this and work with the local authorities to meet the capital requirements. It is also on councillors to ensure our budgets are not reducing every year and we need to consider this when Property Tax reviews are carried out. Some councillors are content in taking populist decisions and voting for reductions in the Property Tax, which saves the taxpayer a very small amount but has a major impact on the local authorities budget” said Cllr Bonfield.
Despite the lack of funding, Cllr Bonfield said that she was proud of what she had delivered in terms of road and footpath improvements and wanted to continue to invest in these if re-elected.
“The town of Newport has had major investment in both road and footpath improvements in the past five years after years of neglect. The whole village of Rearcross has been resurfaced and I invested some of my allocation to roads in Kilcommon. I have also got works complete in Ballinahinch, Killoscully, Birdhill, Gunson’s Lane, Portroe, Silvermines, Ballina and Toor,” she said.