1.2 million euro Bridge to nowhere! - Political Quote

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

1.2 million euro Bridge to nowhere!




David Fallon a Labour Party candidate for Westport Town Council, has condemned as hugely wasteful the €1.2 million which Westport Town Council spent on the controversial second bridge over the Railway Line Walk in Cloonmonad.

Calling the development, "a bridge to nowhere" David Fallon says the construction of the bridge marked "a high point of hubris for the councillors and officials who backed the plan which saw €1.2 million of ratepayers money spent on the bridge and road that goes nowhere and serves no purpose.

"I am appalled that such an amount of public money could be spent on a project which had no guaranteed return for the council in the short to medium term.  This project should never have gone ahead without a proper safety net for the council's finances.

"The 7 councillors who backed it played roulette with the town's finances and have lost and now the town is out of pocket to the tune of €1.2 million. 

"This bridge was supposed to be about housing but what it really was about was keeping the housing boom going in Westport.  It was built by the council with the single purpose of opening up lands to development and the cost was met by the council, who were supposed to re-coup the money in development levies as the area was developed.

"Well there has been no development and there have been no levies and there won't be for years to come, meanwhile Westport Town Council and the citizens it serves are €1.2 million out of pocket as we enter the worst recession in our history.  But there will be no complaints from the 7 councillors who backed the project nor from the Chamber of Commerce who lobbied strongly for it. 

"So it is important to note, especially when one hears Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Sinn Fein councillors and candidates go on about rates and waste, to remember that only Cllr Keith Martin from The Labour Party and Independent Cllr Martin Keane opposed this bridge from the start and voted against its development.  

"At the time Cllr Keith Martin and Cllr Martin Keane, along with Westport Civic Trust were lambasted as being against development and housing by their 7 colleagues on the council but in the end they have been proved correct and it stands to their credit that they never wavered in the their opposition to this unnecessary bridge to nowhere.

"Now we are left with a bridge that goes nowhere and that section of the Railway Line Walk has been left in a disgraceful state.  When elected to Westport Town Council I will work with Cllr Keith Martin and Cllr Martin Keane to ensure this kind of development never takes place again and I pledge to develop the area between the two bridges as a park which unlike the bridge will serve a purpose and will serve all the people of the town!"

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