Cuts will affect delivery of Longford County Council services

Having been told that the cut in funding this year would be between 12 and 15 percent, County Manager Tim Caffrey, speaking at the council's recent budget meeting, said the county authority fared well when compared to other county councils.

Having been told that the cut in funding this year would be between 12 and 15 percent, County Manager Tim Caffrey, speaking at the council's recent budget meeting, said the county authority fared well when compared to other county councils.

In the week of the meeting, the council was told that the cut in funding would be half of what was expected, which allowed the local authority to re-allocate close to €1m in funding.

Mr Caffrey said the financial meltdown of the previous six months at national level will have a significant knock-on effect on the council.

"There's no doubt that in the last number of years there have been significant changes in 2009 and 2010, but nobody could have anticipated what has happened in the last six months. It has had a significant impact on our finances," said Mr Caffrey.

He said that reduced funding and human resources, which has seen over 50 staff leave the council, "will have a severe impact on the delivery of services".

"Really, we have to find new ways of working in teams and not streams, as I have said before. We obviously have to prioritise our work," said Mr Caffrey.

The County Manager said that despite the continued downturn in 2010, there were a number of significant achievements over the year for Longford Council, including the progress made with the N5 bypass.

He said the council should adopt the same intense lobbying campaign in order to progress the N4 route corridor from Mullingar to Longford.

Outlining the plans for the future, Mr Caffrey said that works are intended to start on upgrades at Granard and Abbeylara water treatment plants; water conservation and mains rehabilitation in Longford town that will significantly reduce unaccounted for water within the urban network.