Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey, who is Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Development, has welcomed a commitment from Minister Michael Ring to examine the possibility of providing more funding for the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) to repair rural roads.

Minister Ring appeared before the Committee last week for a review of spending by the Department of Rural and Community Development. He said that Local Authorities have spent €5.6 million of the €10 million allocated to them under the LIS programme so far this year and he was confident the money would be spent by the end of the year.

He added inspectors are currently looking at some of the projects funded by LIS to ensure the money is being spent appropriately.

Minister Ring told the committee that he would like to examine the possibility of increasing funding under the LIS programme with the County and City Managers Association, the Department of Transport and the Department of Education.

Speaking after the meeting, Deputy Carey said the Committee was pleased with the approach being taken by the Minister.  

“It is clear from our meeting, that he is making every effort to ensure that the funding available through this scheme is allocated in a practical and logical way, ensuring that it is being spent giving the maximum benefit to local communities.

As Chairman,I support this approach but would like to see a more collaborative interdepartmental approach to meet the financial burdens associated with the delivery services under the Local Improvement Scheme.”