Donegal County Council has passed its budget for 2021

Donegal County Council has passed its budget for 2021 which has an extra €875,000 to spend in the coming year.

The revenue budget for 2021 is €155.285 million with the biggest chunk of the funding, €48.4 million, to be spent on the county’s road network.

The breakdown of how the roads allocation will be spent next year remains virtually unchanged from 2020.

Just over €20m is being allocated for housing and building while almost €16m is being ring-fenced for the provision of public water services.

Tourism also features prominently in the budget for next year with each Municipal District set to get an extra €100,000 for minor tourism works.

One of the big tourism highlights is a pending €12m funding application for development works at Fort Dunree - a decision is expected before the end of this year.

A study on the Camping and Caravan sector is also expected to be completed in 2021.

It’s also anticipated that the Greenway network in Donegal will be developed further in the year ahead with a Greenways Team to be set up in the roads design section. It’s hoped that that will be fully staffed by April 2021.

€2.5m is to be spent on Housing adaptation grants in 2021.

While a new strategic vision for cultural services will be developed in 2021 with €5.5m included in the budget for library, arts, museum and heritage services.

It was proposed by Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Rena Donaghey to adopt the Budget and it was seconded by Cllr Martin Harley.

Cllr Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig said he could not support the budget for a number of reasons.

While acknowledging the positives in the Budget, Cllr MacGiolla Easbiug believes some aspects of it are found wanting.

He believes that not enough funding has been sanctioned for road resurfacing, gritting and LIS schemes while he also thinks more money could be spent on increasing recycling services.

The lack of a new ferry that would cater to Tory Island was another bone of contention for the Cllr.