By Kieran O’ Mahony
SINN Fein Cllr Rachel McCarthy has said that the other parties on Cork County Council don’t care about the savage 70% cut to Leader Programme funding for the region.
At this week’s meeting of the local authority, Cllr McCarthy sought to have standing orders suspended so that the Council could, as a matter of urgency, take her motion condemning the cut and calling on Minister Alan Kelly to reconsider the allocations.
However, she has expressed her anger and disappointment that only her fellow Sinn Fein councillors supported her call on the suspension.
‘This massive cut in Leader funding will have disastrous consequences for local development in Co Cork and I thought all councillors, from all parties, would have seen the importance of taking this motion early in the meeting given the negative impact that these cuts will have on our constituents,’ said Cllr McCarthy.
‘It was appropriate to call for the suspension of standing orders to take a motion which calls on Minister Kelly to reconsider the dramatically reduced allocation of funds. Instead the majority of councilors wanted to take motions that had been deferred from previous meetings.’
‘They weren’t for budging – even after I explained that we are up against time as the European Commission will be passing the Rural Development Programme in May. I have no doubt that these same councillors will be crying crocodile tears over the cuts at some time in the near future, and it is unfortunate that they didn’t seem to care too much today when it mattered.’
The cuts to the Leader programe were announced by Minister Alan Kelly and Minister Ann Phelan which will see funding for Cork County reduced from €49.2m (2007-2013) to €13.9m.