Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 17 January 2023
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government
Local Government Performance Indicators and Public Spending Code: National Oversight and Audit Commission
Thomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source
I thank the witnesses for coming in. The work they do is important in terms of scrutiny and putting together these reports. Mr. McCarthy made the point about trying to encourage best practice and, where there is good practice getting, 31 local authorities to come on board.
I certainly welcome that. Last Friday, I posted on Facebook about people who have contacted me about dampness, leaks and mould in their homes. I got more than 130 responses and the messages are still coming in. When I was a councillor on Cork City Council, I got the monthly and yearly reports that the chief executive would put out. These related to how many calls came in about housing maintenance, how many of them were resolved and how many of them were urgent. However, they do not give information on whether they have been completed. I remember from being on Cork City Council that we would see thousands of housing maintenance requests being submitted. I know for a fact from talking to people in my constituency that some of those are not done. This is because the council may not have the staff because of the cuts after the financial crash and because many of the staffing numbers in housing maintenance were never replaced. Also, they do not have the finances to contract out the work. There are therefore people living in substandard accommodation that would not be accepted in the private sector. Yet, some local authorities are not doing the repairs on local authority homes, as they should. One of my questions relates to what we can do to ensure that local authorities are doing the work that they are supposed to do.