Glanmire flood relief scheme showing little sign of progress

Glanmire flood relief scheme showing little sign of progress
Residents with sand bags at Cooper Valley Vue in Glanmire to prevent further flooding in 2016.Picture: Eddie O'Hare

GETTING answers on flood relief works in Glanmire and Sallybrook is “like pulling teeth” according to a local councillor.

It comes as further information has been requested to move forward with the Glashaboy River Flood Relief Scheme.

Labour Councillor John Maher has received confirmation via parliamentary question that once again there are further delays with the Ministerial Commencement Order for the works.

The question, submitted to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe by Deputy Seán Sherlock, asked when he expects to receive a report into the scheme.

The response stated that the proposal for the Glashaboy Flood Relief Scheme had been submitted. An environmental assessment and public consultation has also taken place.

Earlier this month, the Office of Public Works (OPW) received correspondence from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform stating that the independent assessment has been completed.

However, it also asked for further information to complete the process. “My Office is currently reviewing the additional information requested with a view to reverting to the Department shortly in respect of same,” the Minister said.

The response continues: “The procurement and appointment of a contractor will be progressed for this scheme following formal Ministerial Confirmation. The flood relief scheme will be funded from within the allocated €1 billion for flood risk management over the period 2018-2027.” 

As reported in The Echo in December 2019, the Glashaboy River Flood Relief Scheme has been included on an extended timeline of works planned by the OPW up to the year 2027, but no definite commencement or completion dates have been given.

Meanwhile, according to the Minister’s response to the parliamentary question this week, provision for the cost of the scheme is included in the OPWs multi annual capital allocation.

“OPW is committed to funding this project and attends monthly steering meetings to offer every assistance to Cork City Council to ensure a contractor is engaged, and the works commence, as soon as possible.” 

Labour councillor John Maher has hit out at the latest issues in the process.

“How is it even possible that all the information was not sent on at this point? How can local people have any confidence that this Government is going to act? Will a new Minister in the next number of weeks have to start from scratch again?

“Are these funds to provide flood relief ring fenced given the current budgetary adjustments or is it susceptible to the next Minister to seek savings?

“Once again, the response from the Minister raises more questions than it answers. It's like pulling teeth to get any information of progress from this Department while residents in Glanmire estates have no house insurance and are living in fear of the next flood. The people of Glanmire are being let down once again,” he said.

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