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Newcastle West councillors reject idea of a special project fund

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Newcastle West councillors have today proposed to reallocate a special project fund to be shared amongst each elected member for use in their localities.

The Draft Budgetary Plan for 2017 was presented before members of the Municipal District of Newcastle West by Sean Coughlan the Head of Finance for the Limerick City and County Council.

Members of the Municipal District of Newcastle West met on October 19 to consider the Draft Budgetary Plan 2017 for the area.

The meeting outlined the total provisional allocation for the General Municipal Allocation, which covers the Municipal District of Cappamore-Kilmallock, Adare-Rathkeale and the Municipal District of Newcastle West.

The total provisional allocation for the General Municipal Allocation for 2017 was set at €1,203,000 with €225,000 of that total being allocated to the Municipal District of Newcastle West.

Sean Coughlan, Acting Head of Finance, Limerick City and County Council opened the meeting by outlining the proposed allocation of the funds for Newcastle West.

“We have indicated within the different services where this allocation could be divided,” said Sean Coughlan.

Of the €225,000 allocated, €95,000 was set aside for local roads, €10,000 for tourism and recreation, €20,000 for community initiatives and €100,000 was classified as a special projects fund.

“There is a category which we haven’t allocated to any particular service and that is called special projects at the moment which is €100,000,” added Mr Coughlan.

Councillor Liam Galvin, Fine Gael, was the first councillor to respond to the council’s proposal and he stated that the special project fund should be kept aside for the elected councillor’s own discretion.

“Last year money was spilt between all councillors to use in their own rural areas,” said Cllr Liam Galvin.

Councillor Séamus Browne of Sinn Féin agreed with this idea and suggested that the €100,000 which was categorised as a special fund to be given to all six councillors in the municipal area.

It was suggested that the fund would be evenly divided to use for local projects such as footpaths, drains and general maintenance of rural areas.

“I’m in favour of spreading the €100,000 to all six councillors instead of putting it aside for one special project,” said Cllr Séamus Browne.

John Sheahan, Fine Gael and Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District of Newcastle West welcomed the suggestions made from the local councillors and said that special projects in the past were “made a hash of.”

“I welcome using special project funds to be given to each councillor for maintenance of their local areas,” said Cathaoirleach Sheahan.

Sean Coughlan of the Limerick City and County Council noted the councillors’ suggestions and proposed amendments and concluded the meeting in order to bring the changes before the City and County Council.

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