News | Byrne: New councils will be underfunded

Byrne: New councils will be underfunded

SDLP MLA West Tyrone Joe Byrne has asserted that the new super councils will be underfunded. Following the Budget Estimates debate in the Assembly Mr Byrne said the cut in DOE finance will impair the whole of local government reform.

He said: “I have a major concern for the drop in farming prices that is creating uncertainty and great financial stress for many farmers. I am particularly

 “The Councils from April this year will be amalgamated into 11 councils instead of the existing 26. In addition the Councils are getting greater powers including planning but these functions will be severely impaired by the lack of adequate funding given the proposed budget.

“The rates support grant which the lower rates based councils have benefited from will be cut and so smaller rates based Councils like Omagh/ Fermanagh will suffer.

“The Stormont Executive has a responsibility to finance the new Councils properly as these rates, support grants and the convergence monies which were promised will be reduced.

“The fear now is that local rate payers will have to pick up the bill for the extra functions which the new councils are expected to administer.”

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