‘Extraordinary’ budget to lead county Longford's economic recovery

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

‘Extraordinary’ budget to lead county Longford's economic recovery

Extraordinary, stellar and spectacular.

Just some of the metaphors used to describe this week's announcement over the €57.2m council chiefs expect to roll out across Longford next year.

Local politicians reacted with a mix of both delight and muted astonishment at the news Longford County Council is to embark on its sixth increase in projected expenditure in as many years in the face of an unrelenting public health emergency.

“To say that we, as a council, are going to spend over €1m each week next year is just fantastic,” said a jubilant sounding Cathaoirleach Cllr Paul Ross.

The Fine Gael councillor's reference to the local authority's prudent financial management was something fellow party member Cllr ColmMurray gave further credence to.

The Fine Gael group leader said the ability of senior management to deliver a balanced budget in such straightened fiscal times was nothing short of extraordinary.

“The transformation in our county over the last four to five years has happened with the management that is in place,” he said, while likewise hailing the role played by Local Government Minister Peter Burke.

Fianna Fáil's Seamus Butler went a step further, terming the council's rude economic health as an “act of financial alchemy”.

He said: “When you look at grants and how they make up 43 per cent of income and being 71.5 per cent up on 2020 shows just how well all of the departments in Longford County Council are working.”

Independent Cllr Gerry Warnock followed suit, saying the budget was indicative of how local authorities were best placed to steer counties like Longford back to economic solidity.

“To produce a budget of €59m given the times we are in is nothing short of extraordinary,” he said.