Council press on with budget plans

The council plan to go ahead with their annual budget meeting in December, despite no legislation from central government on proposed changes to the local electoral areas.

The council plan to go ahead with their annual budget meeting in December, despite no legislation from central government on proposed changes to the local electoral areas.

At last week’s meeting of Laois County Council, councillors agreed to have the annual budget meeting on December 16.

Cllr Willie Aird pointed out that this was the last budget before the local elections.

“I have to do everything I need to do for my constituents before hand,” he said.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald agreed.

“This is very confusing. We are completely in the dark about the new bill.”

County Manager, Peter Carey said the council were waiting on the legislation from the Department of Environment.

Under the new reforms the number of councillors halved after next year’s local elections , while the county divided into three new electoral areas or municipal districts.

“We have to know what is going to happen. We won’t be able to form a budget. There is so much to be organised. We are coming in here to do a budget and we don’t know what’s happening,” Cllr Fitzgerald added.

In support, Cllr Brendan Phelan said that they did not know what the financial breakdown would be between the three areas.