Another Galway TD hits out at underfunding of County Council

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Another Galway TD has hit out at the chronic underfunding of Galway County Council, and the impact it is having on services.

Deputy Claire Kerrane said in the Dáil this week that the county council does not have the budget needed for fundamental services, and is sitting far below other counties.

“Galway is the second largest county in Ireland, yet it is at the bottom of the table year on year when it comes to central Government funding. Despite my raising this matter numerous times, nobody can tell me why.”

NUI Galway launched a 2022 local authority finances website this week, showing that Galway County Council has a budget of €144 million this year, the equivalent of €802 per person.

In comparison, Mayo has a budget of €1,256 per person, Clare has a budget of €1,167, and Tipperary County Council has a budget of €1,217, Deputy Kerrane emphasised.

The Sinn Féin TD highlighted that Galway is both larger than all of those counties, and has a far higher population.

“It is towns like Ballinasloe and villages from Ahascragh to Ballymoe and the people who in County Galway that are losing out,” Claire Kerrane said.

“They do not have the budget to do what they need to do in respect of housing, water and roads. This issue needs to be addressed.”

The biggest deficit in council spending in Galway shown by the NUI Galway figures is in local authority housing, where the County Council has budgeted €17.17m this year, or €95.71 per person, compared with a national average of €480.97 per person.

The previous week, Deputy Ciarán Cannon said that the chronic underfunding of Galway County Council meant that enforcement actions in the planning department were virtually non-existent.

He highlighted that the number of people employed by the council has fallen to 804, down from 1,006 staff members in 2008, a number far below many other councils.