The Mayor of Carrickmacross, Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy, has welcomed an agreement by the members of the Town Council to unanimously adopt an Annual Budget, on his proposal, that will deliver a 7% reduction in commercial rates to the businesses of the town.
Speaking after the Budget meeting, held on Monday afternoon, Cllr. Carthy said:
“I am pleased that the members of Carrickmacross Town Council have voted unanimously on my proposal to adopt an annual budget that I believe is progressive and fair.
“Among the main measures which our budget will deliver will be:
– a 7% reduction in commercial rates which it is hoped will be a major boost to local struggling businesses.
– €95,000+ in contributions to local voluntary organisations including Tidy Towns, festivals and groups working with our young and older citizens.
– significant capital monies being spent on road improvements, additional car parking, improved play-park facilities and the provision of other amenities.
“These measures will be delivered without any increase in council house rents or the dilution of any services provided by the council.
“Unfortunately, this will be the last Budget adopted by this body as the Fine Gael government have decided to abolish Town Councils in May. It is my belief that this will be seen, in time, as a massive mistake for our towns and for local democracy.
“I want to commend all members of the Town Council for endeavouring to adopt a budget that delivers for the people and businesses of our town and Council officials for working closely with the elected members in the best interests of Carrickmacross.
“Huge credit must go to the ratepayers of our town for their loyalty over the years. They have paid higher average rates to Carrickmacross Town Council in the knowledge that these rates would be spent locally in improving our town. The huge numbers of people who contribute their time voluntarily working with community groups, sporting organisations and other worthwhile projects have long been the backbone of this town and I am pleased that we will continue to be in a position to support them through contributions totalling almost €100,000.
“A real challenge will present next year, if plans proceed to abolish the town council. For my part I, along with my Sinn Féin colleagues, will commit to doing everything possible to deliver a further 7% reduction for Carrickmacross ratepayers (and thus bring it in line with county council rate) and to ensure that funding for community groups in our town is maintained.
“This budget process proves the worth of Town Councils. I want to, even at this belated stage, call on the government to reverse their decision to abolish this pivotal tier of local democracy”.