At the end of August, Kildare County Council invited Maynooth Cycling Campaign to take part in Bikeweek. We proposed a number of actions including advance publicity, two organised cycles around Maynooth and engagement with secondary schools in Maynooth, Celbridge and Leixlip as well as Maynooth primary schools. We submitted an estimate of costs and added a percentage to cover the cost of our insurances and time in preparing and running the events. We also looked for clarification on a number of conditions but as we did not get a reply, we reluctantly decided not to proceed. Maynooth Cycling Campaign has been involved in Bikeweek since 2012 and have used Bikeweek funding to buy from local shops so we were disappointed not to be able to do so again this year.
Although Bikeweek is funded by the Department of Transport and organised in conjunction with the local authorities, voluntary groups are expected to pay the cost of insurances. Furthermore although prompt payment legislation ensures that invoices must be paid promptly, Kildare County Council has forced Maynooth Cycling Campaign to wait two lengthy periods – 8 and 11 months before being reimbursed for costs. As Maynooth Cycling Campaign does not have its own bank account, we informed Kildare County Council that we wanted funds to be temporarily transferred to us via Dublin Cycling Campaign CLG/Cyclist.ie (rather than an individual’s private account). Dublin Cycling Campaign CLG/Cyclist.ie is a company approved by the Irish Charity Regulator and the intention was to improve the campaign’s cash flow. When Kildare County Council failed to reimburse Maynooth Cycling Campaign in a prompt manner, the effect was therefore to effectively retain money intended for a charity.