Rural communities will suffer in council Budget cuts - claim

Rural communities in Donegal will suffer in the forthcoming Donegal Co. Council Budget cuts and with no ‘optimistic distractions’ like Obama, the Queen and the Presidential election, 2012 was going to be a turbulent year.

Rural communities in Donegal will suffer in the forthcoming Donegal Co. Council Budget cuts and with no ‘optimistic distractions’ like Obama, the Queen and the Presidential election, 2012 was going to be a turbulent year.

That was the warning this week from Manorcunningham Fianna Fail councillor, Paul Canning.

Clr Canning said the county council’s budget should have been adopted by the council but it didn’t happen.

“Unfortunately we found ourselves having to work with a lot less finances to try and supply a service to the people of Donegal. We as Fianna Fail councillors could not and did not support a budget that was cutting our Roads Maintenance Budget by over a million euro, along with cutting the housing grants section altogether.

“Due to the amount of funding that has been cut from our budget by central government in Dublin, Donegal Co Council can only guarantee a minimum maintenance programme with little or no funding for capital spend. We have asked the council to try and come up with alternatives that allows the housing grants and the proper roads budget to remain. We have also given the council proposals that will help them achieve these alternatives. The deadline to adopt the budget is January 10. We are hoping that these alternatives are looked at and a budget proposal that looks after our rural community as well as everyone else is in place to be adopted.

He added: “It seems that every time proposed legislation is passed or a budget spending cut is adopted, the rural community are always hit. It is just not acceptable in this current economic climate, this is the reason why the Fianna Fail party are having difficulties in adopting both the budget and the development plan at local level. Take one example, We have the rural school bus charge that has been outrageously increased after the people got bullied into accepting it. The same is going to happen with the €100 housing charge, heaven knows where the septic tank charge is going to end along with the water charges rising to €400 per year. These charges are more severe on the rural community.

Clr Canning added the Fianna Fail public representatives would be voicing their concerns at every opportunity.

“Unfortunately the present government has such an overall majority it will probably fall on deaf ears. 2012 is going to be a very turbulent year for the Government with no large events such as the presidential election, The visit of Obama and the Queen’s visit, all of these created an optimistic distraction allowing this government front load a lot of cuts whilst blaming the previous government,” he said.