Councillors seeks clarification from DfI on roads service budget for Derry and Strabane
Derry y City & Strabane Council plan to write to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Minister to seek clarification on when Western Division DfI will be aware of their budget allocation.
Members discussed concerns about delays in local roads maintenance and the responses from DfI in relation to road safety issues.
UUP Alderman Derek Hussey raised the topic saying: “I don’t know about other councillors, but I have received numerous complaints about fading white line painting on many roads throughout my own area and I would imagine others are in the same boat.
“Going back to April 12 I have a reply from DfI Roads Service which said they were awaiting confirmation of their budget allocation for this type of work.
“Similarly, I had a second issue which I raised with them this month and I received a similar reply.
“Now, we are one quarter through the financial year budget allocation for DfI and they are still awaiting budget allocation for white lining. Where are our local Western Division DfI Roads Service at the moment on the programme that they brought to this council.
“There’s the white lining issue and a quarter of the way through the budgetary year they still don't know how much they have to spend and we are being told there are procurement issues that will prevent the road surfacing programmes that they had promised this council they were going to enact.
“Can this council send a letter to the DfI and the Minister and ask what exactly are you going to do within the promised programme that you have announced for the Derry City & Strabane District Council area?”
Director for Environment and Regeneration Karen Phillips informed Councillors that the Roads Manager is coming to a special Environment & Regeneration Committee meeting on July 5 when issues could be raised. However, Alderman Hussey said it was an issue ‘that comes from the Department and they need to sort this out.’
Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí Hugh endorsed what Alderman Hussey had said, adding: “It seems to be a standard response from DfI that you are on the list and it will be carried out when resources permit and that's a response I have received this week on two separate issues.”
Agreeing with the two previous speakers SDLP Councillor Edwards said: “I have also raised the road markings issues. There’s issues with drainage and sewage as well. There’s a multitude of issues.”
Alliance Councillor Philip McKinney added: “I’ve been trying to get them to respond to issues on speed limits in certain parts of the city and as other Members have said it is the same old letter in response.”
The motion received unanimous support and was carried.