Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillors John Brady and John Snell have
expressed bitter disappointment at Wicklow County Councils vote to
reject a motion demanding that the government reverse its decision to
cut the funding to Wicklow County Council by €1,476,651.
Speaking after the meeting Cllr Brady said "It bitterly disappointing
that Wicklow County Councillors could not adopt a motion calling on
the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government Phil
Hogan TD to reverse the cuts in the Local Government Fund and restore
adequate funding for local democracy and the provision of Council
services to our citizens and communities.'
Brady went onto say “Cllr Snell and i had tabled the emergency motion
in response to the decision of the Minister for Environment, Community
and Local Government Phil Hogan to slash funding for the Council based
on the level of Household Charge collection to date. Only 65% of
Wicklow residents have paid the unfair tax, this is something i had
warned would happen and now the Government wants to impose a
collective punishment on all residents by cutting the council funding
Cllr Snell continued "Wicklow Councillors had the opportunity at the
meeting on Monday to do something constructive to oppose the cuts that
are being imposed on the council. Myself and my party colleague John
Brady tabled a similar motion to the one which was unanimously
supported by Dublin City Council, unfortunately our motion was
defeated by 14 votes to 5 and 1 abstained. These councillors must now
stand over the cut of €1,476,651 and the impact it will have on
Cllr Brady concluded by saying "The debate in Wicklow County Council
came on the very same day the Government handed over another
€600million to bondholders, this alone could have funded all local
authorities in the State for several years. The scale of the cuts to
the council will result in cuts to the provision of Council services
to our citizens and communities, services such as libraries, recycling
centres, parks, playground, housing and roads. The decision the
majority of councillors in Wicklow took to vote against the Sinn Fein
motion has given the all clear to Phil Hogan and the Government to
continue their attacks on front-line services".
Emergency Motion which was rejected by Wicklow County Council at the
meeting on 3rd September 2012.
In light of the impending financial crisis facing Wicklow County
Council and local authorities throughout this State, Wicklow County
Council calls on the Minister for Environment, Community and Local
Government Phil Hogan TD to reverse the cuts in the Local Government
Fund and restore adequate funding for local democracy and the
provision of Council services to our citizens and communities.
We deplore the Circular from the Minister's Department to all local
authorities announcing further reductions in the Local Government Fund
and linking reductions of funding for individual Councils, including
Wicklow County Council, to the level of collection of the inequitable
and uncollectible Household Charge.
We call for the replacement of the Household Charge with a reformed,
equitable system of funding for Local Government based on sound
economic realities and experience in other countries, including
reference to an ability to pay and we warn against the imposition of a
further unjust charge based on the market value of homes and without
regard to ability to pay.