At yesterday’s Louth County Council Budget meeting, Sinn Féin Councillor Imelda Munster put forward a proposal to transfer all allowances of the Chairpersons, vice chairs and SPC chairs of Dundalk, Drogheda, Ardee and Louth councils into Housing Adaptations for our elderly citizens in Louth.
A delighted Cllr Munster said “the total amount for the top up allownces total €78,000 and now this money can be put to better use in providing adaptations such as stair lifts, ramps and downstairs washrooms for our elderly citizens in Louth as this service has been grossly under-funded over the last number of years with many applications for adaptations refused due to lack of funding.”
There was controversy earlier this year when the Chairpersons of the three municipal districts were awarded top up allowances despite only attending 12 meetings a year.
Sinn Féin have consistently put this proposal to the Louth County Council but have always been out voted. When it was passed Cllr Munster said “this is a good day for change in Louth, we promised people a new era of local government and this is the start. We as Councillors already get paid to be councillors. There really is no justification for these top up payments for chairpersons especially when Louth Local Authorities have been and continue to be starved of funding for the provision of the most basic services that taxpayers have every right to expect from their local council.”
Cllr Munster ended by thanking all those who supported her proposal and hoped that other County Councils will follow suit.
Corrigan said “Time and time again Louth County Council have been told to provide more for less, by this Fine Gael / Labour government. We didn’t seek election to sit idle and let the people of our communities suffer again. We in Sinn Féin cannot and will not support a budget that will have a very real and negative impact on the day to day lives of people in this county.”
“The adoption of this budget will see no improvement to housing services, road services, or further investment in projects and services that support and build communities, while people and their families are forced to pay more. The people who will suffer at the adoption of this budget are the same people who were passed over by the Celtic Tiger.”
“Louth is the most deprived border region in all of Ireland, and, this is not going to change unless we make a stand as elected representatives. We must stand up for the people and communities who elected us, and the onus is on us to look out for their best interests. I urge you all to say ‘enough is enough’, now is the time to make a stand by voting no to this budget, send out a message to say Louth has had enough, and we deserve more.”
“Dundalk is the most deprived area in the border region and Louth Local authorities need to make provision so we are not solely relying on others to provide for cross border development. For that reason, the one thing that I do welcome in the budget report are the plans for the cross border and European Relations Unit in the local authority. Now is the time to set out aims, objectives and targets in this local authority as to how we can develop and improve this cross border region to see real economic and social changes to better the quality of life for those in the area who have been affected by partition on this island.”
Speaking today in advance of the legislation being tabled by Sinn Féin during Private Member’s Business in the Dáil Tomorrow, Sinn Féin Councillors Imelda Munster & Tomás Sharkey have called on the local Government representatives for the area to support the Bill.
Councillor Munster said:
“The ongoing fiasco that is the establishment of Irish Water and the gross mismanagement by the Government on the issue of water charges has left many people understandably frightened at the prospect that our water services could be privatised in future.
“While Sinn Féin remain opposed to water charges and has stated our firm intention to abolish them should we enter Government, nevertheless we recognise that the ongoing campaign around water charges has highlighted the need for a firm commitment that our water supply will not be privatised in future.
Councillor Sharkey said
“Clean, safe drinking water is a fundamental right, paid for through general taxation by our citizens and it is vital that our water services remain in public ownership.
“Sinn Féin is tabling legislation tomorrow, which will call for a referendum to be held on the issue of the ownership of our water services. Such a referendum would provide the concrete reassurance to citizens that our water services will be protected in public ownership for the benefit of our people and that no moves will be taken to privatise the water supply without the consent of the people.
“We are calling on all TDs put particularly the Government TDs in this area to support this legislation tomorrow and allow the Irish people to have a say in the future of water services in our country.”