Lochside Garage

Confusion still reigns over council and the roads…

THE NEWLY elected councillors of Fermanagh would like the people of the county to know they don’t have any responsibility for the upkeep of roads, and while they want to fix our many pot holes they don’t have the power to do so.
Following this year’s local election campaign many candidates have reported that the dire state of local roads was one of the key issues on the doorsteps for voters, despite road maintenance not being within the Council’s remit.
While the continued suspension of the Assembly, Brexit, education and particularly health, all issues the Council also doesn’t have control over, were also hot topics, many voters appeared to mistakenly believe roads were within councillors’ control.
Sheamus Greene, who was re-elected to the Council at the weekend, said it was a common mistake, harking back to the days before the Department of Infrastructure took full control of the highways and byways of the county. The misconception may also come from the fact that in neighbouring southern counties, such as Donegal and Cavan, the councils do play a role in road maintenance.
“People still ring us up and talk about a Council lorry went down the road but the Council didn’t fix the pot hole,” said Mr Greene. “It hasn’t been since back in the early 70s since the Council actually had control of that.”
Paul Robinson, who was also re-elected to the Council at the weekend, said roads and rates had been the two key issues he had heard on the road, yet councillors will have no control over the latter concern.
“It was the usual issues you hear all the time,” he said. “The problem with roads is we haven’t got the say over roads. We can only lobby on the road. That’s all I can do for the people, is lobby for them.”


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