Wednesday, September 21, 2011

City Council Faces Funding Crisis- O'Leary

City Council Faces Funding Crisis- O'Leary

The incoming chair of Cork City Council’s finance committee, Cllr Chris O’Leary, has said the council faces a severe funding crisis in the next year and urgent action must be taken if it is to maintain services.

Cllr O’Leary said:
“It was confirmed this week that the council faces a €3.725 million shortfall in funding this year.”
“A significant part of this arises from government funds, including the housing grant, water service grant and roads grant, being withdrawn. This will have a direct impact on council services. Housing maintenance will virtually cease, there will be less money to repair water pipes as we go into the winter, and the budget for traffic calming and road re-surfacing will be cut to the bone.”
“The council faces a further challenge when 134 staff take early retirement next year. Each of these will be entitled to a payment equivalent to 18 months wages, leaving the financial position of the council even more critical than has been indicated.”
“The council now needs to prioritise essential services. In the past year we have seen money designated for vanity projects like the Sky-Garden and refitting the Lord Mayor’s chamber without the approval of council. This cannot continue.”
“There also needs to be a serious look at the issue of conference expenses and the Lord Mayors’ pay.”
“The City Manager needs to inform council how much is being realised by the sale of the refuse service to Country Clean and whether the best value is being achieved for this.”
“At a national level, the government needs to live up to the commitments it has made to fund local authorities and in the longer term, initiate a fundamental reform of the way local government is funded.”

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

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