Tramore Town Council has cut the town’s commercial rate for next year as a gesture of support for local business.

In order to facilitate the move, it was decided at the Council’s annual budget meeting on Tuesday night to forego increases in allowances for the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and also to cut the allocation for attendance at conferences.

The estimated financial outturn for 2009 contained a sum of €2,200, up from €2,000, for the Mayor’s allowance, and €600, up from €500, for the Deputy Mayor. But sitting Mayor Raymond Hayden was fully supportive of suggestions from Lola O’Sullivan and Ann Marie Power that the status quo be maintained.

Also, it was decided to reduce to €4,900, from €6,300, a figure included in the estimates for representation at conferences. It was agreed that Joe Conway and Pat O’Callaghan would attend as usual the AMAI annual seminar and conference but beyond that if any member wanted to go to any other conference they would have to pay their own way.

Estimated expenditure for next year was thus reduced from €75,500 to €73,800. Some €21,000 of that is for Tramore tourism and development and €7,000 is allocated for improvements at The Doneraile, work on which is due to commence shortly.

On the income side, Tramore House rental from the NRA will come to €31,770.

Town Clerk John O’Sullivan presented the figures which contained a proposal for a rate increase of 3 pc, bringing it to €3.504 in the €. But Cllr O’Sullivan, issuing a reminder that lots of small businesses in the town were currently struggling, suggested freezing the existing rate as a way of assisting them.

But after Cllr Dan Cowman said that even the pubs were feeling the pinch, Cllr Power went a step further, wondering if they could cut the rate. Cllr O’Sullivan said it would be a fitting gesture and an indicator that they wanted to help existing businesses and encourage new ones.

And that’s what was agreed after the Mayor pointed out that it would require only relatively minor paring of the estimates as presented.