Labour Party Councillor Seamus Ryan has warned that reductions in budget and staff numbers in Waterford City Council will ultimately affect Council services to the public in Waterford City.

Figures made available to Councillor Ryan this week show that the Council’s budget has been cut by €268,146 this year which is a cut of 3.22% from the original allocation. Also the amount received in 2009 was €8,941,951 compared to an allocation in 2009 of €8,064.061 which is a reduction of €877,890 or a drop of 10% in funding to the council.

Waterford City Council has also reduced the workforce by 42 this year through the ending of temporary contracts and the non filling of early retirements. Cllr Ryan warns that the effect of all of this will be seen in the delivery of services by City Council as it struggles to come to terms with reducing budgets and reducing staff numbers.

“The delivery of services by Waterford City Council will suffer as a result of these job losses and the cut in the budget by the government. I have no doubt that there will be further cuts by the government in grant allocation to the City Council which will make it even more difficult to carry out the much needed services such as road repairs, footpaths, housing maintenance and other essential works that this Council carry out through out the city. These cuts and job losses must be reviewed by the government so that ‘essential front line services’ in Waterford City are protected.”

Cllr Ryan went on to say that the Local Government Fund (LGF) General Purposes Grant is financed by the full proceeds of motor tax and an Exchequer contribution. The Fund provides local authorities with the finance for general discretionary funding of their day-to-day activities and for non-national roads, as well as funding for certain local government initiatives. Any reduction in this fund results in a reduction in service provision to the people of Waterford.