Roy Beggs MLA has welcomed the belated return of DRD funds to enable the backlog of faulty local street lights to be repaired and has accused the DUP Finance Minister of miss-management of public funds.
Roy Beggs MLA said, “I have received many complaints from constituents who were concerned that their street lights were not being repaired. Despite being aware of the current budget allocation from Westminster, the Finance Minister allocated funds but then, at the end of July, clawed back funds when much had already been committed. This resulted in repairs coming to a sudden end and pensioners in parts of Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey and Larne having to wait months for the repair of street lights. Many others await repair today.”
The Ulster Unionist MLA went on to say “The Minister, Danny Kennedy MLA, asked for return of funds for street lighting repairs in the October monitoring round, but he has only received funding now. It is clear that this money was available during this financial year so why has Simon Hamilton MLA only allocated it now rather than when it was first requested in October? The public have had to face unnecessary inconvenience over the last number of months. It is widely recognised that this stop/go approach results in poor decision making and poor use of public funds.
I am pleased that within hours of the funding being released, with the help of local contractors, street light repairs were already underway. I hope that the backlog of faulty street lights will now be swiftly repaired.”