Galway County Council must publish a full account of all monies raised from rates and the property tax and detail how the money was spent in each of Galway’s five electoral areas.
This is the view of Karey McHugh, who has become the latest Independent candidate to run for election to the Galway County Council for the nine seat Tuam ward.
The 24-year-old’s entry to the race brings to four the number of declared Independents, the others being Jim Charity and sitting councillors Seán Canney and Shaun Cunniffe.
“This will be the first local election following the introduction of the Local Property Tax and the next council will have to address the need for transparency in how the money raised by this tax is spent in local areas,” she said. “It is essential the public can see a link between the taxes raised locally and the services provided.”
Ms McHugh also pointed out that there is a lack of representation for younger citizens in County Buildings. She pointed to the fact that, according to the 2011 CSO figures, 2,219 people in the Tuam town area are aged between 18 and 34.
“I am the only person in this age group running,” she said. “There needs to be a voice from our generation highlighting the many issues that now face us - the leftover children of the Celtic Tiger.”
As a result, Ms McHugh is keen to support initiatives to keep young people in the area through education, training, and employment opportunities.
“A disproportionate amount of my generation have had to leave to find work,” she said. “I want to focus on opportunities to keep young people in the area, amenities which will increase the ‘liveability factor’ for everyone in Tuam