Refurbishment of convent will not be finished before 2014

Councillor Margaret Adams said that she was disappointed that the refurbishment project of the former Convent of Mercy in Westport — where the town’s civic offices are planned to relocate to — will be not be completed sooner then mid-2014.

At the town council meeting last week town manager, Martin Keating informed councillors that no submission was made in relation to the Part 8 for the proposed refurbishment of the former convent and therefore recommended that councillors adopt as unchanged the Part 8 which went on public display.

Cllr Adams said she was “amazed” that not one submission was received and hoped that work would be completed in the shortest amount of time.

Mr Keating said that work on the convent could be commenced in the second quarter of 2013, if the council is still in a position to finance it.

Cllr Adams said she was disappointed that it would be at least mid 2014 before the work would be finished, at which stage there might not be a council to drive the project along.

Cllr Myles Staunton said that he could not believe that not one submission was received. Cllr Staunton said that local contractors should be made aware that this contract is coming up.

Cllr Christy Hyland said that numerous projects have gone to outside contractors which is “absolutely crazy” when local people are unemployed. Cllr Martin Keane agreed that “too many things are going to outsiders...give it to our local people, they want to work”.

The town manager said that the council is bound by EU and national procurement rules. Cllr Hyland said “let’s break them”.

Cllr Staunton said that councillors Keane and Hyland “are way off the mark” as rules cannot be broken and he added that Mayo contractors have benefited from work in other counties.

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