Vital work which needs to be carried out in Galway city, and community support and grants will be, "put on the back burner" so long as there is no "clarity on the financial future and stability" of the Galway City Council.
This is the view of Social Democrats Galway City East councillor, Owen Hanley. He, along with all Soc Des councillors in the State, signed a letter to the Minister for Local Government, Darragh O'Brien, calling on the Minister to prioritise support for local government to ensure the delivery of local services.
"We are preparing for a significant impact on our budgeted income as a result of Covid-19," said Cllr Hanley. "Without specific guidance from the Government about what financianal supplements will be put in place, local services will remain in limbo."
'A great worry would be that in our unknown future our ability to reach all parts of Galway would become severely reduced'
In the letter, the councillors call for greater information on the practical interventions that will be put in place to ensure communities get the services they require. They also requested that if Galway City Council needs to pass an emergency budget to adjust their figures that the input and role of Councillors in that process be clearly outlined.
"This is about more than just financial stability," said Cllr Hanley. "This is about ensuring councillors have all the necessary information at hand to fight for the investment our communities need now more than ever."
Cllr Hanley said community investment will be "vital as we build a resilient society and economy after Covid-19". He said if budget cuts must be implemented then he will be arguing for an "equality budgeting process", where the council must consider making funding cuts and decisions which do not adversely affect the disadvantaged.
"Too many people felt forgotten before Covid was even a part of our lives," said Cllr Hanley. "A great worry would be that in our unknown future our ability to reach all parts of Galway would become severely reduced."