Deputy Charlie McConalogue has called for a co-ordinated national support mechanism to be set up to ensure that flood relief works can be carried out in affected areas.
He says the current arrangements between the OPW and the local authorities are not working because both bodies are abdicating responsibility for certain rivers or watercourses.
Deputy McConalogue explained, “A number of situations have arisen here in Donegal, whereby both the Office of Public Works and the County Council are claiming that they do not have responsibility for flooding works in certain areas – leaving local land and property owners to fend for themselves.
“There appears to be serious confusion over what body is responsible for what areas. The OPW says local flooding issues are a matter for each local authority but that they can apply for funding for works under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme.
“However, councils are claiming that they have no responsibility or authority to maintain watercourses, other than where they affect public infrastructure – for example at a bridge – and therefore they cannot apply to the scheme promoted by the OPW.”
He added that this disconnect is leading to consistent flooding in certain areas as they are unable to secure funding to carry out the necessary works to address the problem.
And he said that it is clear that a National body is needed to co-ordinate flood relief projects and their funding.
He concluded, “I am following up with Donegal County Council and the relevant government Departments to seek the establishment of a co-ordinated national support mechanism to allocate responsibility for flood affected areas.”Tags: