Donegal County Council unamiously accepts next years budget

Donegal County Council has adopted its budget for next year, with members accepting a 3.5% cut in the commercial rate.

Towards the end of the meeting, a late push was made to have the cut widened to 5%, but in the end, that wasn't achieved.

However, a new fund has been agreed to promote community initiative and  provide money for transport initiatives such as the Foyle and Swilly ferries.

Yesterday marked the first time in recent memory that the budget was passed unanimously, a stark contrast to the controversey that surrounded last year's meeting.

As political discussions continued into the evening, there was a late surge to have the rates decrease widened from 3.5 to 5%. However, in the end, that was not possible, and the budget was adopted as outlined. The adoption was proposed by Fianna Fail Cllr Ciaran Brogan, who says he wasn't convinced that 5% was achievable.

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/bud1.mp3[/podcast]

The proposal was seconded by Fine Gael Whip Terence Slowey, who says the council's loan requirement and the promise of a new community fund to be discussed next month persuaded them to accept the original proposal.

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/bud2.mp3[/podcast]

For Seamus Neely, it was his first budget as county manager - He says the new fund has the potential to substantially benefit the business community.

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/bud3.mp3[/podcast]