Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has called on the Minister of the Environment Alan Kelly to carry out an investigation of Wicklow County Council and to look at the serious allegations around planning and how the council is and has been managed.
Cllr Brady said "There has been a lot of talk surrounding Wicklow County Council, how it's being managed and serious allegations have been made on planning matters, some of which equate to corruption. There has been a lot of talk in the media and on the ground relating to planning involving the council in Wicklow and I believe public confidence in the council is at an all time low. In the latest report carried last week in a national newspaper it's claimed a file connected to a complaint relating to malpractice in the council which was lodged by a number of Wicklow Councillors with the Minister has gone missing from his desk".
"The Standards in Public Office are also investigating complaints made against council officials and a named councillor. I have spoken to a number of people who have made serious accusations about the council, I have also seen many files which paint a worrying picture of how the council has been managed and they also raise concerns on how planning has been dealt with in the County".
The Sinn Féin councillor continued "Irrespective as to when these files relate to, whether it be one year or sixteen years ago, they need to be investigated. In the Dáil my party leader has raised concerns about Wicklow and I reiterate them again. The ex Minister of the Environment Phil Hogan abdicated his responsibilities in ensuring the council in Wicklow and others met the highest of standards. There are very serious allegations and the minister has a duty to investigate them regardless of the outcome".
Brady concluded "The new minister Alan Kelly must restore public confidence in all aspects of Local Authority. The only way now to restore any confidence in Wicklow County Council is for him to hold an independent investigation into the management of the County Council, all allegations regarding planning that have been made against the council need to be included. Fine Gael junior minister Simon Harris and former Minister of the Environment Dick Roche have previously called for an investigation and I'm repeating that demand now". Ends