Waterford councillors in showdown talks with Minister over budget deficit
A delegation from Waterford Council is currently meeting with the Local Government Minister in an effort to break the impasse over the local authority’s budget deficit.
The cross-party group is asking Minister John Paul Phelan for more funding from the Government to plug the €1.3 million gap in the council’s budget.
Last week councillors overwhelmingly voted against Waterford CEO Michael Walsh’s plan to hike commercial rates to balance the budget.
Councillors now have until December 14 to find the extra €1.3 million to balance the books and avoid the prospect of the council going into administration, which is why the councillors are reaching out to the Government and Minister Phelan.
Just two weeks ago the Government gave the council a one-off grant of €2million euro. This grant still leaves the council short and will not fix the situation going into the forward, a point the councillors will make to Minister Phelan.
Many councillors blame the budget deficit on the Government’s revaluation of the Irish Water assets in the council’s possession and feel it is up to them to rectify it. The Irish Water assets were devalued leaving a hole in the council’s accounts.