Home » Breaking News » ‘Game-changing’ GMA is praised
Councillor Joe Cooney, Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District.

‘Game-changing’ GMA is praised

OVER the past seven years, €1.5 million has been invested in the Killaloe Municipal District, thanks to revenues raised through the Local Property Tax (LPT).
The funding, which is distributed through the General Municipal Allocation (GMA) to council members for allocation in the draft budgetary plan, was widely welcomed at the district meeting last week.
Members were told that funding, distributed through the GMA, has supported a range of significant infrastructural projects across the Killaloe district since 2014.
At the outset of the meeting, members were told the recommendation of the council’s executive was to leave the 2022 GMA at the same level as for 2021.
Cathaoirleach of the district, Councillor Joe Cooney proposed the adoption of the GMA at the existing level. “The GMA is vital for the funding of all of the municipal districts of the county,” he said.
“A lot has been achieved in the Killaloe area with the GMA over last few years. In rural parts of the county and in our villages, we can all see the amount of upgrading that has been achieved with the GMA funding.
“This work wouldn’t have been able to be done without it. We are getting projects in place for people and it is good to know that 2022 GMA will be at the status quo and the same as what we had.
“I have no problem in proposing this. I really welcome the funding, so that more of our villages and towns will benefit in 2022.”
Seconding the motion, Councillor Pat Burke described GMA funding as transformative for rural areas. “Since the Local Government Reform Act (2014), the GMA has been a game changer for rural villages and rural places we represent,” he said.
“From 2009 to 2014, it was tough going to get work done on the likes of paths, lights, and other services. That all changed in 2014. The people appreciate it as well. It’s great for us politically, they can see we allocated funding to worthwhile projects. Great work has been done since 2014. I’m delighted to second the funding.”
Councillor Pat Hayes also welcomed the continued funding levels.
“It is excellent that we have continued to get money over the years,” he said. “It has been hugely beneficial and has worked really well for an awful lot of communities. We have used it the maximum.”
Councillor Hayes thanked the staff of the Killaloe Municipal District office and Director of Finance Noeleen Fitzgerald for seeing projects over the line.
“We have supported projects that would never otherwise have seen the light of day have been done, thanks to GMA,” he said.
“The Killlaloe district has been using funds very much for public and open spaces.”
The Caher man voiced reservations about discussing the level of the GMA, in advance of examining the overall budget for the district.
“It is a bit of a fallacy that we’re discussing this and not the overall budget,” he said.
“The roads and housing budgets should also be included in the discussion. Overall, I fully support the GMA proposal, but more details and facts are needed about the overall budget.”
Ms Fitzgerald noted Councillor Hayes’ remarks and outlined that the purpose of the discussion is consideration of GMA element of budget.
“It is something that other municipal districts have raised,” she noted, “but this is done in stages, it’s the GMA first, then the full budget.
“We are drafting the budget on the basis that the GMA will remain at same level. It’s from the Local Property Tax (LPT). Across all of the municipal districts, it’s been worth €7.3m – €1.5m of it for Killaloe – since 2014.”
The cathaoirleach described the investment as “fantastic”. “We wouldn’t have gotten this only for the GMA,” he said.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

Check Also

Aldi confident of winning planning appeal as county council sticks to its masterplan

AN Bord Pleanála is due to give a decision by next Tuesday on Aldi’s appeal …

error: Content is protected !!