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War of words over Westport Parking


POLITICAL ROW Fine Gael’s Peter Flynn has taken aim at Independent Cllr Christy Hyland.

Flynn cuts loose at Hyland’s criticisms

Michael Duffy

A war of words on parking charges has broken out between two Westport candidates in the upcoming local elections.
Fine Gael candidate Peter Flynn has slammed comments made by Christy Hyland in last week’s Mayo News about where income raised from parking is going.
“It’s disappointing that he has used the meetings of the Municipal District to criticise myself and other candidates for questioning where all the money is going when we had no opportunity to respond.
“Cllr Hyland claims that he has negotiated a deal with the council executive to keep income from parking charges in the area, but other councillors that I have spoken to are completely unaware of any such deal or negotiation.
“I have reviewed the associated official minutes and bylaws and there isn’t a shred of evidence of any legal agreement to ringfence this money,” said Flynn.
Mr Flynn, who served as an elected member of Westport Town Council and Mayo County Council in the past, said that from his knowledge and experience of local government, councillors do have the power under Schedule 3 of the Local Government Act 2014 to direct when and where revenue is used.
“It is bad enough listening to the bluster of councillors claiming credit for projects all over the county which Mayo County Council gave zero money towards but now in claiming new funding Cllr Hyland is taking the term ‘bluster’ to all new levels. There is no documentation on record to support these claims being made by Cllr Hyland so I am now calling on him to furnish whatever legal document he has which sets out what percentage of the money will remain in Westport and what it will be used for.”
Flynn went on and challenged Cllr Hyland on his record as a member of Mayo County Council over the past five years. He claimed that despite the very significant increases in council generated income in that time, Cllr Hyland consistently voted for budgets which failed to retain this money in the Westport area.
He accused Cllr Hyland of ‘unfailing supporting’ the Fianna Fáil/Independent majority council alliance budgets which Flynn says took money from Westport.
“Cllr Hyland was happy to take the lucrative committees and chains of office that went with his support for Fianna Fáil and the Executive over the past five years. It is time for him to come clean and take responsibility for the associated budgets and policies that he has supported over that period. If I am elected, I will give an absolute guarantee that I will fight tooth and nail to ensure the money raised in this area will be spent in this area and that any decisions made will be for the greater good as opposed to self-serving.”

MPU Mayo