“Today’s Budget seeks to protect frontline Council services such as Housing, Roads, Parks and Environmental Services, despite a substantial drop in income from central government and other sources. We have also managed to increase funding to the Council’s award-winning Library Services,” stated Looney.
“Members of the Labour/Sinn Féin/Independent Alliance on the Council have again foregone tens of thousands of euro in Conference Expenses, following through on a 2009 pledge not to claim any money for Conferences at home or abroad. This money has been diverted into a Window Replacement Fund, increased to approximately €1 million, and targeted at local authority tenants. Councillors also froze rates for businesses in the County, after three separate rates cuts of accumulating to 5.3% since 2009. Important supports for vulnerable people were also protected, such as housing grants for the elderly and those who are disabled."
“Fianna Fáil opposed the Council Budget without offering a single alternative. At the meeting, I called on them to present alternative ideas, but, as has happened before, they could not be bothered. They subsequently complained about burial ground charge increases; despite knowing about these increases for more than a year they offered no alternatives on the day or in advance. It is hard to take them seriously on the issue. Last year, members of the Labour/Sinn Féin/Independent Alliance managed to offset some of the increases by diverting money set aside for Councillor Conferences to the burial grounds. Fianna Fáil Cllrs used those same funds to travel to hotels around the country attending Conferences.”