Leitrim Councillor claims local authority will be abolished within a decade due to funding issues

An Independent councillor claims Leitrim’s local authority will be abolished in ten years’ time because of funding problems.

In a forceful speech at yesterday’s budget meeting of the local authority, Des Guckian strongly criticised the level of financial support the council is receiving from the government.

The management team of Leitrim County Council presented a draft budget of nearly €35 million to its members, an increase of €2 million on 2017’s.

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It includes €4.3 million for housing and building, €12.3 million for road transport and services and €4.3 million for environmental services.

However, Independent councillor Des Guckian opposed adopting the budget because he says it’s completely inadequate, noting it’s €13 million less than the 2009 budget of €48 million.

But he received no support from his colleagues and it was adopted, to his disappointment.

Commercial rates will essentially be unchanged in 2018, with an annual rate of valuation of 0.21 set – but Councillor Guckian opposed it, only to receive no support once again.

Cathaoirleach Finola Armstrong-McGuire supported by the rate-level and the budget itself, defending the fact it’s €13 million less than nine years ago.