Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Estimates Vote Puts Councillors' Priorities in the Spotlight-O'Leary

Estimates Vote Puts Councillors’ Priorities in the Spotlight

Sinn Féin councillor Chris O’Leary said last night’s vote on Cork City Council’s budget shone a spotlight on councillors’ priorities. He was speaking after a motion from Sinn Féin, which would have increased the provision for housing maintenance by nearly €200,000 at the expense of conference fees and the Lord Mayor’s pay, was voted down by the other parties.

Cllr O’Leary said:

“This year’s estimates propose a €200,000 reduction in housing maintenance, at a time when we already have a huge backlog of tenants waiting for repairs. It follows last year’s reduction of €1 million in the funds allocated to maintenance.”

“This can be avoided. By placing a moratorium on conference fees for just twelve months, the council would save €145,700. Together with a reduction to €60,000 in the Lord Mayor’s allowance, this would provide €194,000 to plug the gap in housing maintenance.”

“My proposal is that this money be ring-fenced as an emergency fund for repairs associated with the current cold spell – such as attic insulation, boiler and heating repairs, etc.”

“The fact that the three pact parties – Fianna Fail, Labour and Fine Gael – voted en bloc to reject this proposal is a disappointing reflection of their priorities. Surely in the current economic climate councillors could have foregone payments for conferences for one year to enable badly needed repairs to the housing stock.”

“It was particularly disappointing to see Labour councillors voting solidly alongside Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to oppose the motion.”

For further information or comment contact Cllr Chris O’Leary @ 087-2794307

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