Letterkenny Town Council budget meeting tonight

Letterkenny Town Council will meet tonight in a bid to pass its own budget, with a freeze on commercial rates proposed.

In his introduction to the budget, the County Manager says the Council is conscious of the difficult times that the business community are experiencing at present. Seamus Neely adds that ratepayers represent a significant amount of the Council's income, therefore it is essential that budgetary decisions do not undermine competitiveness and include initiatives that complement business activity.

The proposed budget for Letterkenny Town Council provides for a total expenditure of almost €7.8 million euro next year, 5.6 million euro of which will go towards revenue expenditure and 2.2 million to pay for services provided by Donegal County Council.

Over half the total budget, €4.3 million, will have to be raised through commercial rates, with County Manager Seamus Neely saying for the second year in a row, there will be bno increase in the rates imposed on local businesses.

After the county charge, the biggest expenditure item is pay, with Letterkenny Town Council paying staff almost 1.9 million euro, or 25% of the total.

With the government intending to scrap town councils in two years time, councillors will be anxious to point out that the total set aside for member costs is 88,600 euro, just over 1% of the council's total expenditure.