Curb high spending on shrubs and landscaping says O’Flaherty

The “exorbitant expenditure” that has been incurred by the Galway City Council over landscaping roundabouts and planting shrubs needs to be curbed.

This is the view of Independent city councillor Terry O’Flaherty who has put forward a notice of motion for the next city council meeting on the issue.

She is calling on City Hall to advise councillors about “what measures are being taken regarding traffic management and the enhancement of the city for the Volvo Ocean Race Grand Finale in June/July”.

According to Cllr O’Flaherty, the enhancement works ahead of the 2009 Volvo event cost €23,400. The worked spanned from Forthill Cemetery to the Railway Bridge in Lough Atalia and saw 1,820 shrubs planted. She says this has now led to the area being “high maintenance”.

“It was staggering the amount of funding spent on landscaping a relatively small area,” she said, “particularly at a time when budgets were being cut back across all departments.”

Cllr O’Flaherty is demanding that “this type of exorbitant expenditure does not occur” in the run up to this summer’s Volvo race. She also wants any proposed plans and enhancement costs to be approved by members of the council’s recreation and amenity or environment committees.

“Too often we have seen unacceptably large overspends on capital budgets, most recently in relation to the Seamus Quirke Road upgrade,” she said. “For that reason councillors and the strategic policy committees should be given greater input and oversight into spending on capital projects. The city must look its best for visitors but wasteful expenditure has to be eliminated.”

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