Published: Monday, 18th February, 2013 9:30am
A rebate of €110k from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government has been returned to Meath County Council and will go towards funding the local authority's roads programme for 2013.
This money is part of Local Government Fund which were withheld by the Department in 2012 because Meath had not reached its targets for collection of the household charge.
The news was welcomed by Cllr Maria Murphy, who fought against the funding cuts to this local area, which did meet collection targets.
"In the second half 2012 the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government penalised those counties which had not achieved certain targets for the collection of the household charge. During the Autumn the County of Meath was penalised to the tune of €664k when money was withheld by the Department. Towards the end of the year our situation worsened when we were faced with the fact that we would lose another €110k if we did not achieve a collection rate of 65% across the county," she said.
"This reduction in funding meant that works which we were expecting to be completed across the county could not be done in 2012. All this work is necessary for the betterment of the people living and working in Meath. In September we had a collection rate of 57%, but by December we had with the work done by the Council increased this rate to in excess of 60%."
"We had already received our final allocation of funding from the Department when at the end of the year we passed the magic 65% mark. On foot of this the council requested that the department return to us the second amount of €110k which was withheld," said Cllr Murphy.
"Thankfully this request was conceeded and the money was added to our first payment for 2013. I am happy that this money will be prioritised for road maintenance across the county. At this point in time we need all the monies we can get. It's a pity we still lost €664k which can never be recouped. Thanks to all those people who paid their household charge."