Councillors pass motion calling on Minister to honour commitment to meet regarding county’s funding shortfall

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway county councillors have passed a motion calling on the Minister for Local Government to honour his commitment to meet with the council executive and members over the county’s long running funding shortfall.

A meeting of the local authority this week heard growing calls for Minister of State Peter Burke to attend a meeting to address what was described as the severe underfunding of the area, after committing to do so at an online meeting in April.

Fine Gael Councillor Joe Byrne said that at the April meeting, he felt it was made clear by department officials and the Minister that they wanted to see an element of reciprocation with regards to local property tax.

He added he was disappointed a commitment was given that day to meet, and that has not yet happened.

Fianna Fail councillor Donagh Killilea said the last time the property tax was increased, promises were given and nothing happened.

Independent Councillor Jim Cuddy said there was an expectation the Minister would come and meet county councillors and he believes department officials could be blocking this.

CEO Jim Cullen outlined to the meeting that there was an indication following the April meeting that department officials would be engaging and that they have been written to on a number of occasions setting out the case.

It comes as the local authority will meet next Monday to debate the budget for 2022.

Independent Councillor James Charity proposed a motion that the Minister honour a previous commitment to meet – he said it’s now critical.