Limavady Council has missed out on funds to tackle dereliction in Dungiven in a move that has been blasted as a “disgrace” by a local councillor who is demanding an inquiry into why the town missed the cut.
A bid for £18,000 had been submitted to the Department of Environment, but Alex Attwood yesterday announced it would be getting none of the £1 million available.
Instead, Fermanagh, Belfast, Lisburn, Moyle and Down will share the money, with amounts ranging from £380,000 to £100,000.
Sinn Fein’s Sean McGlinchey branded the decision ‘lousy’.
“Having been in the town, and seen the tattered buildings for himself, and given the year for Derry as the City of Culture and the fact thousands of people will pass through Dungiven, how could the minister make that decision?” he asked.
“It’s a disgrace, and once again the people of Dungiven have been let down. I will be calling for our Council to request a full inquiry into the matter.”
The Sinn Fein representative added: “The people of Dungiven stepped up to the mark last year and tackled the issue themselves, but when they ask for a bit of backing from Government they’re let down. It’s lousy.”
SDLP Colr. Michael Coyle said it was “very disappointing” news, adding: “It doesn’t mean we won’t fight on to address the issue, and look at other means but, yes, it’s very disappointing. There may well be no money available now, but it may well come available at a later date.”
The Council’s Development Services Manager, Paul Beattie said they were disappointed especially since the funding sought was “not a huge amount’, but expressed hope further funding would become available.
“In the meantime, we will sit down with the main groups in Dungiven, talk to the Department of the Environment, and see what else can be included in a new bid. If we’re not in, we can’t win,” added Mr. Beattie. (See Pg 3)