Sinn Féin council group leader Conor McGuinness has called for an Emergency Meeting of Waterford City and County Council to be convened ‘with the utmost urgency’ to discuss the ‘weak and inadequate’ response from Government to the cut it has made to the local authorities budget.
“We met in emergency session when the story of the Government’s Eur3.3 million cut for Waterford first broke. We sent a clear and unanimous message to the Minister that his Government is responsible for the mess and he has an obligation to sort it. The Eur 3.3 million hole they have created in our budget will blast us back to recession-era levels of spending in Waterford.
“I have written to the Mayor to formally request an emergency meeting of Waterford City and County Council to be convened to discuss the Government’s weak and utterly inadequate response, and to seek a sustainable resolution to the problem they created.
“The Governments offer blatantly ignores the fact that this situation arises because of decisions taken by the confidence and supply government regarding Irish Water, and it doesn’t undo the massive cut to the Council’s budget. It is a once-off measure and doesn’t take into account the fact that Government are imposing a year-on-year cut of Eur 3.3 million on Waterford.
“This has become a national issue, where a small number of local authorities are being disproportionately effected. David Cullinane has challenged the Government to come up with a solution to the mess they have created. The Council chief executive has said there is little scope to to implement cuts as services are already stretch, and that if Government refuse to take action he will be forced to propose a 13.5% rates increase on businesses.
“The onus for solving this crisis is on the confidence and supply Government. Sinn Féin will stand up for the people of Waterford City and County and we will not tolerate a situation where our communities and small and medium businesses are treated as collateral damage of short-sighted and damaging Government decisions.”