Letterkenny and Buncrana Town Councils budget meetings this evening

Letterkenny and Buncrana Town Councils both hold their budget meetings this evening, with members in Letterkenny seeking at least a 3% reduction in the commercial rate. It's expected the status quo will be proposed in Buncrana, but members may seek a slight reduction.

After Donegal County Council passed its budget with a 3.5% rates decrease this week, councillors in both Letterkenny and Buncrana will be hoping for reductions locally.

Letterkenny Town Council has already passed a motion calling for a 3% reduction. That proposal from Cllr Dessie Larkin was opposed by the majority grouping on council, but passed on the casting vote of Fianna Fail Mayor Tadhg Culbert in October.

The fact that a 15% reduction had been expected in funding from central government, whereas the actual reduction to the county council was 6% turned out to be hugely significant, and that may prove to be the case again.

Members in Buncrana have been expecting a proposal from management to freeze commercial rates, and are likely to seek a slight reduction this evening. However, one senior member told Highland Radio News they are conscious of the fact that Buncrana has one of the lowest rates in the country, and members will not do anything to jeapordise what are signs of growth in the town at present. A balancing act will have top be performed, he predicted. Both councils are hopingg to adopt their budgets at the first time of asking, whether that will be achieved remains to be seen.