September 27, 2021

Keep the lights on, councillors! D-Day for Waterford’s 2020 Budget

Waterford’s 32 county councillors will meet again tomorrow in a bid to pass the Budget for 2020 for a second time.

Unless a deal is agreed by a majority of councillors, the local authority will come under the direct control of the Government, which would be unprecedented.

However, sources this week indicated to that the doomsday scenario is “highly unlikely” to come to pass and that a Budget deal will be agreed.

Tomorrow’s meeting comes after a delegation of Waterford councillors met with the Minister for Local Government, Ferrybank resident John Paul Phelan, in Leinster House last week in an attempt to secure additional funding to help plug a €1.3 million hole in the council’s finances.

The Government had earlier allocated €2 million to Waterford City and County Council after a cash crisis parked by a revaluation of Irish Water assets crippled the local authority’s budget. However, the Government refused to allocate any further funding to Waterford.

A plan by council chief executive Michael Walsh to hike commercial rates was rejected by councillors last month.

However, these same councillors could find themselves of a job unless agreement on the 2020 Budget can be reached tomorrow.

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