Minister Kelly ‘a coward’ for not meeting Cavan County Council – Feeley

Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has called Minister for the Environment, Community & Local government a ‘coward’ for refusing to meet a delegation from Cavan County Council to discuss the Equalisation Fund allocation to Cavan County Council which was an attempt to make up the shortfall in the Local Property Tax. ‘At our Council Meeting to discuss the Local Property Tax, I and the Fianna Fáil Group, proposed that the Council, on a cross-party basis meet with Minister Kelly. His reply to that request is to refuse to meet with us due to a ‘heavy schedule of diary commitments.’ It is extraordinary that the Minister responsible for Local Government would refuse to meet with a cross party delegation from a County Council. We have a mandate from the people of the County to represent them and the Minister in refusing to meet us is ignoring that mandate. It shows a clear lack of conviction on Minister Kelly’s part in his own policies, it is an admission that he cannot justify his own policies which amount to a con-job on counties such as Cavan. We are being punished for being a poorer county and the Ministers refusal to meet with us is clearly an act of cowardice on his part.’ Last month, based on the figures available to Cavan County Council and taking account of the obligations facing the Council in 2015 decided not to alter the rate of the Local Property Tax for the coming year. ‘As a Council, we took a responsible position in relation to the Local Property Tax. We did so to protect services in the County in so far as we can as a Council, despite being starved of resources by Government. I welcome the fact that the Fine Gael Councillors were equally dismayed by the Ministers refusal to meet with us and urged the Minster to come to Cavan to meet with us as a Council.’ Concluding Councillor Feeley called on Minister Kelly to make himself available to hear the concerns the members of Cavan County Council about the financial stability of the Council into the future and ensuring that the people of County Council can have a proper level of service from their local authority.