Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Shock as Wicklow County Councillors Embrace Cuts of €373,000

Wicklow Sinn Fein Councillor John Brady has slammed the majority of
Wicklow County Councillors for ramming through cuts of €373,000 at
Mondays council meeting without taking a vote or taking a stand and
saying no to them. The cuts were imposed on the council by the
Government who claimed its because 100% of Wicklow residents failed to
pay the unjust Household charge.

Speaking after the meeting Councillor Brady said "I am shocked but not
surprised that the majority of Wicklow County Councillors would gladly
embrace cuts to the Local Government Fund which is give to local
authorities by the Government so it can function. Because the
Government has taken the decision of link the payment of the unjust
Household charge to the funding of local authorities, they are forcing
cuts on councils. In December of last year Wicklow County Council was
allocated €14,625,057 through the local Government fund, now ten
months into the year the Government and Phil Hogan has decided to
withhold €373,000 of that fund because Wicklow did not achieve a 100%
collection rate of the Household charge. The discussion relating to
the cuts to the council came on the very same day that €1billion was
handed over to unsecured bondholders of AIB".

Cllr Brady continued "I stated at the meeting the reason why these
cuts were before the council had nothing to do with the underpayment
of the unjust household charge, the real reason is the continued
handing over of billions of Euro to bondholders and the very same day
we were discussing the cuts to Wicklow another €1billion was handed
over to unsecured bondholders in AIB. In December at the councils
annual budget meeting the budget for 2012 was agreed based on an
allocation of €14.6 million from the Government. At the October
meeting of the council a detailed report was put before the
Councillors outlining the areas in which the savings of €373,000 was
to be achieved, this in effect means the council was presented with a
new budget".

Cllr Brady went onto say "The new budget put before the council made
cuts to Housing maintenance, the disabled persons grant, Traffic
calming, Maintenance of parks and the purchase of library books,
amongst others. I demanded that a vote be taken on the new amended
budget before the council, however unfortunately after repeated
attempts to oppose the cuts and the new budget, the majority of the
council pushed the cuts through".

Cllr Brady concluded "The people elected to represent Wicklow had a
opportunity at the council meeting on Monday to take a stand and say
no to the cuts and no to the handover of billions of euro to
bondholders. But rather than take a stand for the people they claim to
represent they warmly embraced these new cuts that will have a
detrimental effect to some of the most vulnerable people in Wicklow".

Some of the cuts pushed through at the council meeting include:

Local Authority Housing Maintenance   -20,000
Disabled Persons Grants                     -20,000
Traffic Calming at Schools                    -6,000
Library Books                                      -20,000
Playground Maintenance                      -3,000
Maintenance of Parks                          -5,000
Residents Association Assistance        -6,000

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