Over 1,200 pay household fee in three weeks following pleaAugust 16, 2012 - 7:30am
By Declan Tierney
Since the Government wielded the axe over Galway County Council’s budget, some €140,000 has been collected in household charges over the past three weeks – however there are still 25,500 households which haven’t coughed up.
The fact that 44% of households in County Galway hadn’t paid the household charge resulted in the local authority being ‘punished’ to the tune of €3.1 million, which has been taken out of its budget for the remainder of the year.
County Manager Martina Moloney made a plea for the household charge to be paid so that essential services could be provided and it has resulted in an additional 1,200-plus households (three percent of the total) responding and she is hoping that this figure will increase.
Recently Galway County Council produced a ‘hit list’ of the areas that were going to be affected in the cuts and these included the suspension of housing grants to older people and people with disabilities.
The County Council will also be withholding grants for various community based initiatives including the maintenance of graveyards while no more money will be spent for the rest of the year on library books.
Areas like litter control, the maintenance of local authority houses, the repair of potholes, verge trimming and bridge maintenance will all be affected by the savage cut in the Council’s budget.
“I am pleased to say that there has been a positive response with more than €140,000 paid in the weeks since the notification from the Department issued. Percentage collection now stands at 59%, a 3% increase.
“We thank those people who have responded to the call to pay the charge and support local services. However there are still a substantial number of people who have not yet paid and we would ask them to do so as soon as possible so that the impact of the cuts can be minimised,” Ms Moloney told The Connacht Tribune.
There are 62,150 households in County Galway which are obliged to pay the household charge but so far just 36,657 have complied with the directive meaning that there are almost 25,500 who are standing firm against the charge.
Read more in today’s Connacht Tribune