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Muir hits out, as £1 million of roads money is returned

Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has criticised the Department for Infrastructure (DFI) for handing back £1 million it has been unable to spend on road resurfacing projects.

At this week’s Infrastructure Committee meeting, officials from DFI told MLAs £1 million of capital money was being returned by the Department due to reduced capacity to deliver work on the ground while maintaining safe working conditions. The news was met with concern by committee members, who listed a series of projects awaiting funding across Northern Ireland. 

“I have a list as long as my arm of roads that need resurfaced in North Down alone. Construction firms have worked hard since the early stages of the pandemic to make sure their operations are safe so work can continue,” said Mr Muir.

“It is hard to understand under these circumstances why the Department is handing money back that could be spent now on improving our infrastructure. 

“The idea the Department can’t find ways to spend £1 million on capital projects within the next three months is further evidence procurement processes within DFI need updated. Contractors across Northern Ireland could get projects on the ground very quickly if the money was made available to them.”