Thursday 21 November 2019

Gorey/Kilmuckridge to get highest amount in county budget

Some Wexford councillors unhappy with Gorey district receiving largest allocation

Simon Bourke

The Gorey/Kilmuckridge Municipal District is to receive the largest portion of the council's annual budget allocation for 2020.

The newly created district will receive funding of €445,000 to improve services such as roads, amenities and tourist facilities. In total, a figure of €1,764,000 has been allocated for the entire county, with Wexford getting €393,000, Enniscorthy €352,000, New Ross €327,000, and Rosslare €247,000.

Speaking at the meeting of the Wexford Borough District on Monday last, Councillor Davy Hynes expressed his dismay at these figures, arguing that, as the county's premier town, Wexford should be getting the most.

Addressing Head of Finance, Annette O'Neiil, Cllr Hynes asked, 'How come Gorey has a lot more than Wexford? There's been a feeling, particularly since 2014, that when the Wexford Town Council was abolished the town itself lost out in a lot of ways. We had a situation before the last election where three councillors had to put in money to get a pact done. There's this feeling that we've lost out big time since this reform.'

Responding to Cllr Hynes, Ms O'Neill cited both geographical spread and population as reasons for the allocated amounts.

'There is a greater geographical spread in Gorey/Kilmuckridge, and when we look at it on a relative population spread, Gorey would get a greater allocation,' said Ms O'Neill. 'I will say that Gorey councillors are complaining bitterly because they feel they're not getting what they should get, but we feel this is a fair representation, based on activity and spend, and identified need,'

In total the money allocated across the county has increased by €166,500, a figure which will Ms O'Neill confirmed will be further bolstered by the time the budget is fully signed off.

'In terms of community grants, there was €5,000 per councillor, but the CPG (Corporate Policy Group) made representations to the Chief Executive on this and on that basis he's asked to me to find another €34,000 for the county so that means we'll get €6,000 per member under that. So the overall increase is actually €200,000. We think that's fair and reasonable and it's the best we can do with what we have,' said Ms O'Neill.

New Ross Standard