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Warning sounded on commercial rates

FERMOY town councillors have been urged to renege on conference expenses and "other frivolous costs" in a bid to keep down commercial rates for 2009.

Adam Douglas, Green party candidate for next year's Fermoy town council election, has called on the councillors "show leadership" and not to burden local businesses with a commercial rate increase.

Mr Douglas was speaking ahead of the council's pre and final estimate meetings for 2009 on December 2 and 16.

"The reality of the situation, given the current economic climate, is that capital and current provisions for businesses will be down. Therefore the onus is on councillors to be innovative in their response to decreased revenues for the coming year," said Mr Douglas. "The key to future success for Fermoy is to maintain service provision at near existing levels without burdening businesses through commercial rate hikes."

The 19-year-old Green Party hopeful said that councillors must take the lead by streamlining their expenses claims.

"This means reneging on conference expenses and other frivolous costs and uniting to look at other cost saving initiatives. It was always unacceptable, but will become increasingly so, for people to see money being squandered at a time when people are being both told to and forced to tighten their belts," he said.

"At the same time, adding another pressure to commercial operations in the town would be a backward and negative step that would likely strike a serious blow to the local economy," added Mr Douglas.

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