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Carlow Municipal District councillors vote in favour of the draft budget for 2021

Just one voted against it

Carlow County Council is preparing to slash its budget next year by almost €400,000.

The local authority’s draft plan for 2021 sees them allocated €4,300,000 in expenditure, down from the €4,700,000 spent this year.

Yesterday’s meeting of Carlow Municipal District saw the majority of members vote in favour of the draft.

Cllr Fergal Browne remains hopeful, however, that the situation will improve before their budget is finalised in December saying “The Budget was unusual this year because unfortunately we do have to vote through a reduction in budget initially but we’re hoping that at the December meeting of the full county council that can be reversed so in fact we’ll have the same budget going forward in 2021 as we had in 2020, just we are in very strange times and a lot of work is going on behind the scenes with ministers & departments to make sure we secure the funding”.

The Carlow Mayor added he’s “confident” that the county council won’t have to cut its expenditure in 2021 saying “We have ringfenced funding for the community groups and vital services in the town even as it is but we are very confident that we will secure extra funding so in fact our budget will remain the same which is a great achievement when you consider the extraordinary times we are currently living in”.

Meanwhile, Cllr Adrienne Wallace was the only councillor who voted against the draft budget yesterday.

She’s arguing that more could be done to protect the council’s funding.

And Cllr Wallace says any cuts in the budget, proposed or otherwise, are unacceptable noting “This is austerity 2.0 and we must do everything to defend it, the bottom line is we have a coalition group that are ruling local council & national council or in national government with a swipe of a pen they could reverse these type of cuts, they should make sure funding is available but they’re not doing that, they’re not protecting the economy and they’re not protecting peoples’ health as we see the cases of Covid rising, they’re stumbling from crisis to crisis and I won’t be a part of this shambles of a government”.