Services face cutbacks as Council funding slashedJuly 20, 2012 - 7:15am
BY DARA BRADLEY
The cash-strapped Galway City Council is facing more financial woes after Government announced it was cutting its contribution to the local authority by almost half a million euros, which will lead to more cutbacks to essential front-line services.
The Council received notification on Wednesday evening that the Department of Environment was slashing its allocation in the 2012 Local Government Fund by €495,548 this year.
The fund is used for the provision of services such as street cleaning, roads maintenance and repair, grass cutting and other essential services – the Council’s Head of Finance has warned that the reduction in funding will have “serious implications” for City Hall’s spending on services for the remainder of the year.
At the beginning of the year, the Department allocated the Council €5.99 million for 2012, which was already a significant reduction on the previous year’s allocation.
Now the Council has been told that its allocation will be reduced by €495,548 or 8.3%.
But to complicate matters, the Department said the level of money to be deducted in quarter four will be linked to the local authority’s performance in the collection of the hated household charge.
The Council’s Head of Finance, Edel McCormack, told the Galway City Tribune that the communiqué from the Department wasn’t clear and it left open the possibility that even deeper cuts to the Council’s allocation could be made in the fourth quarter.
Ms McCormack said the cuts would have “serious implications on our expenditure programme for the remainder of the year”.
Asked to specify what areas could be cutback, Ms McCormack said the Council might have to look at reducing its seven days street cleaning programme, or possibly cutback on things like grass cutting in estates or expenditure on roads maintenance or maintenance of Council housing in need of repair.
“We’ll have to look at expenditure under all headings . . . it may necessitate a reduction in services,” she said.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.