Updated: 19/06/12 : 06:38:17Printable Version
The decision by the controlling group on Sligo County Council to impose major cut backs in funding to voluntary and community groups has been strongly criticised by Independent Socialist councillor Declan Bree.
Speaking at a meeting of the People First group Cllr Bree said “Three months ago the controlling group of Fine Gael/Labour /Independent Labour councillors on Sligo Count Council imposed cutbacks of over €1million which will impact on many services. However the cuts imposed at this months meeting can only be described as shocking.
“What we witnessed this month was a savage attack on the many volunteers involved in tidy towns committees, in feiseanna, traditional music events and numerous community and voluntary organisations throughout county Sligo. Slashed by 80%
The Independent councillor continued, “Small grants which were to issue to the Ballintogher Traditional Festival; the South Sligo Summer School; the Coleman Traditional Festival; the Choral Festival; the Fleadh Cheoil; Feis Shligigh; Feis Cheoil and the James Morrison Weekend have been cut by over 40%, while grants to the Tidy Towns Committees in the county have been slashed by 80%. In addition funding earmarked for other voluntary and community groups has been cut by 66%.
“These cutbacks were recommended by the County Manager, and the controlling group on the council constantly dance to the County Manager’s tune.
“Never, in the history of Sligo County Council has any controlling group of councillors acted in such a manner. It totally undermines the spirit of partnership that existed between the Council and local community activists.
“Over the past number of years these same councillors adapted budgets that were proposed by the County Manager, budgets that were based on fantasy, budgets that bore no resemblance to reality, budgets that were absurd and unattainable, budgets that led to massive deficits in the revenue account each year. And now in an attempt to make up for their mistakes they impose these savage cuts on voluntary and community organisations.” concluded Cllr Bree.