Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Council Budget Reflects Failed Government Policies-O'Brien

Council Budget Reflects Failed Government Policies

Sinn Féin’s leader on Cork City Council, Jonathan O’Brien, has hit out at Fine Gael and Labour for supporting failed Fianna Fail policies by adopting last night’s council estimates.

Cllr O’Brien said:

“These estimates translate failed national policies into local politics. Central government funding to Cork City Council has been cut by 17.4% since 2009. This has led to a reduction in staff numbers across all Departments and a restricted ability to provide local services.”

“The consequences can be seen in the slow pace of salting and gritting across the city in the past week which has left some people trapped inside their homes. It can be seen in our cemeteries, where the council no longer has sufficient workers to cut the grass or provide other basic maintenance. We see a slower response to requests for housing maintenance, delays in assessing people for housing, and the closure of local housing offices across the city. There is only one plumber in the whole of the Northside to look after the maintenance of the council’s housing stock. In the past year we have seen the management of the city car parks outsourced because of staff reductions, and two refuse trucks taken off the road. Across the whole range of council services, our capacity to deliver is being stretched to breaking point by cuts.”

“The way is being paved for increased privatisation and outsourcing of local services. In the long run, this will be bad for council employees and will cost the council and the taxpayer more. With the government proposing to transfer responsibility for water services away from local authorities to a dedicated water utility, we face the prospect that in a few years Cork City Council may have responsibility for neither refuse collection nor water supply, and may be building no new houses.”

“A few weeks ago the council’s housing list reached 8,600 – in comparison to a total housing stock of 8,300. But this budget sees the capital allocation for housing reduced further. Next year Cork City Council will build or acquire a mere 96 new houses, although thousands more applicants are expected to come onto the list.”

“Meanwhile the allocation for conference expenses in being increased from €141,000 to €145,700. The Lord Mayor’s allowance is to be €108,000. And chairs of Strategic Policy Committees will continue to get €6,000 for the trouble of attending a few meetings each year.”

“The government’s policy of cutbacks has failed. It has not delivered economic stimulus or jobs, it has simply led to rising unemployment, emigration, and a prolonged recession. These cutbacks, which are forced upon us by central government, simply translate failed Fianna Fail policies to the local level. I am astounded to see Fine Gael and Labour supporting them on Cork City Council while claiming to oppose Fianna Fail in the Dail.”

For further information or comment contact Cllr Jonathan O’Brien @

1 comment:

  1. Well done Jonathon for showing the inadequacies that exist.