The Fianna Fáil members on Mayo County Council have sent a letter to the Cathaoirleach requesting a special meeting be convened to discuss the implications of funding withdrawals from the authority.
The councillors want a discussion on the implications of what they termed the “deplorable policy” of the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan in withholding finance due to the local authority and the ramifications this is having on Mayo County Council and the people of Mayo.
Councillors have been informed that €2.6 million is to be withheld from the budget due to a shortfall in household charge payments.
The opposition party members on the council have signed a petition and sent it to the Cathaoirleach Cllr Cyril Burke (FG ) giving him five working days to respond.
Cllr Burke told the Mayo Advertiser that he intends making a decision by Monday, once all the necessary information is available to him. He said there is no point calling a meeting before that point and until the council staff know what services are to be cut and what measures will be put in place to collect the outstanding household charges. According to Cll Damian Ryan the Fianna Fáil members are not making noise for noise’s sake. “This matter is way too serious and needs immediate attention,” he told the Mayo Advertiser this week.
Cllr Ryan said it was unfair to the people of Mayo who have paid the tax that they should suffer a withdrawal of services. One of the services to be affected is verge trimming which traditionally commences on September 1 and which withdrawal would pose a serious health and safety risk for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians, according to Cllr Ryan.
“This is a problem for the Department of the Environment who imposed the household charge without giving due consideration how it would be collected. Mayo County Council and the 60 per cent of householders in the county who have paid the charge shouldn’t be bearing the brunt of a shortfall in this payment,” Cllr Ryan explained.