Galway Advertiser 2003/2003_10_16/GA_16102003_E1_007.pdf 

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Galway Advertiser 2003/2003_10_16/GA_16102003_E1_007.pdf

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Rates in disguise or more funds for council?
BY KERNAN ANDREWS THE RE-INTRODUCTION of exacerbated rates or a way for council to become more financially self sufficient? There were sharp divisions at Monday's city council meeting as to what the new Development Contribution Scheme means for local authorities and tax-payers. Cllr John Mulholland was having none On Monday night city manager John of it: "This is the re-introduction of rates by Tierney presented a draft report on the another form. It gives the Government a proposed Development Contributions way out. They squandered the money Scheme 2004 - 2008. This will allow a during the boom, now they have none left planning authority, when granting and they want councils to fend for permission, to include conditions for requiring a financial contribution towards themselves. This is an admission of failure." Dep Padriac McCormack and Aid public infrastructure and facilities Catherine Connolly were also critical of the benefiting the development in the area or scheme. intended to be provided by or on behalf of a local authority. Fianna Fail's Cllr Val Hanley worried In short, certain planning permissions that council was slowly being forced into will require the developer/applicant to becoming totally "self-financing". However make a financial contribution to facilities Cllr Michael 6 hUiginn said contributions for the area in question. The scheme is had been paid as part of certain planning permissions since 1963 so this was nothing calculated by forecasting the number of new. Cllr Michael Leahy said it was new housing units as a percentage of the important money was available to put in housing stock plus 20 per cent of that result. The total (in Galway's case this is facilities for estates as they are being built calculated to be 18 per cent) is the and not 20 years later as has to be done with some estates now. "It's now within the percentage to be applied in respect of cost of public infrastructure and facilities with a power of the council to raise the money to provide facilities," said Sen Margaret Cox. city wide benefit. She said people will also be able to see how Tierney said this does not mean the and on what the money will be spent. Department of the Environment will fund The draft will now be made available for the remaining 82 per cent of a particular public consultation and submissions until project and that other funds will have to be November 28. It will be discussed by sought. Nonetheless the new scheme may council in December with a view to allow council to become more financially introducing the new schenre so that it independent by generating its own cash. "This is one of the few methods we have to applies to permissions issuing from January 1 2004. raise resources," he said.

Local youth services threatened by Government cuts
BY MARY O'CONNOR LOCAL YOUTH organisations are lobbying the government in a bid to get it to reconsider proposed cutbacks in youth services in the upcoming budget. Youth work already represents huge value for money and makes a vital contribution to the education of young people, says Deirdre Connaughton, a youth officer in Ballinfoile. "There are many valuable youth services in Galway city and county which give young people an opportunity to participate in a range of non-formal but structured activities. Youth work fosters the social and personal skills they need to face key challenges in the transition from childhood to adulthood." She says more than 50 youth organisations operate in Ireland which are run by 40,000 volunteer youth leaders. They involve more than 5,000 young people. By allocating 5 million next year the Government can sustain young people's participation in youth work and help the sector develop to meet their growing needs, she maintains. "What is needed is a 2.3 million increase to allow current core funding of youth programmes and youth work with disadvantaged young people to continue. In real terms this will just bring youth work funding back to 2002 levels by making up for the shortfall in 2003, and allowing for inflation and salary increases due under Sustaining Progress." She warns if cutbacks are implemented, the youth sector will struggle to survive. Investing in youth work is investing in the future, she believes. "We are urging the public to lobby local representatives in support of this campaign. This national campaign is supported by youth organisations throughout the country which are members of the National Youth Council of Ireland."

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 Galway Advertiser 2003 / 2003_10_16