JDLC plans get deferred under new Council

TWO Ballymoney projects have been refused, and one has been approved, under new direction from the DoE Minister relating to ‘Expenditure Controls for Councils in Shadow Form’.

The ruling (effective from 26th May) stated that any capital contracts under which “the consideration payable by the council exceeds £250,000” must be referred to the new shadow Council for its approval.

And under the new ruling a Ballymoney Council official this week revealed that plans for an extension to the sports hall and a 3G pitch, both at Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre, had been deferred by the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council to be considered October. While the Cloughmills Old Mill Building Project has since been approved by the shadow council at its last meeting subject to grant being available.

The issue was raised during a recent Leisure and Amenities Committee meeting, when members were made aware that the new guidelines affected two amenities projects, Cloughmills Old Mill and the additional pitches at Riada Playing Fields.

The report explained: ‘Cloughmills Old Mill Building Project. This project which has a revised estimate before fees of £463,046.35 and is currently being assessed at Stage 2 of the Space and Place Programme where a grant of £350,000 is being sought is deemed caught by the Ministerial Direction of 26th May.

‘Meanwhile the additional Pitches at Riada Playing Fields Project has a pre-tender cost estimate of £750,000 and entailed the provision of a 3G pitch to replace the existing grass training pitch and also an additional adult pitch, together with 3 no. small sided pitches. It is the case that this project has been tendered and given the DOE Ministers direction the select list contractors were contacted and have consented to stand over their respective tenders for 90 days.

‘It was recommended that Council note that it is intended that the shadow Council accept this urgent business for its next meeting.’

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Council also noted that Ballymoney Social Centre, Rasharkin Community Centre and Killyrammer Community Centre may also be caught by the Minister’s direction.

The report continued: ‘It was further recommended that Council sanction any addition resources which may be required in order to provide any additional information the shadow Council may seek in order to determine whether or not individual projects may process or otherwise.’

It was proposed by Cllr Ian Stevenson and seconded by Cllr Alan McLean.