¤2m loans secured to facilitate grants
OVERDRAFT COUNCIL MOVE TO COMBAT CUTBACKS
GRANTS which were feared to be in jeopardy due to Government cutbacks are to be funded by Wicklow County Council through a loan of ¤ 2m which will be added onto a newly approved Council overdraft of ¤ 20m.
The Disabled Person Grants and Essential Repair Grants which had been allocated but put on hold due to a lack of funding have now been secured and those who have either started works or been told they have funding are certain to receive what was promised to them.
At Monday’s meeting of Wicklow County Council every member present voiced their disgust that an elderly or disabled person could be left in the lurch by the Council especially as they often do not have the means to get the work carried out by themselves.
‘I have had people break down in tears. It is the Government which has cut funding on the needy, poor and the elderly, those who need it most. We are obliged to pay even if the Government will not. We must honour our commitments,’ said Cllr. Nicky Kelly.
‘People have committed to builders and have to answer to them. They cannot get a bank loan and they have been embarrassed by this whole situation, as have I. We must pay up,’ said Cllr. Pat Doran.
Cllr. Kathleen Kelleher said that honour- ing these grants makes economic sense as they enable people to stay in their own homes for longer rather than needing hospital or nursing home care.
‘We are being pennywise and pound foolish. It makes economic sense,’ she said.
Director of Services Michael Nicholson told members that the cutbacks had come due to a 50 per cent reduction in central government funding and a drop in the number of Council properties sold this year.
Members agreed that a sum of ¤ 2m would be added to the already approved ¤20m Council overdraft to cover all pre-approved grants and that new applications would be assessed subject to the new budget.
Elderly people have committed to builders and need the capital to pay for their work.