Councillor John “Rocky” McGrath has expressed serious concern over the freezing of all Council Grants by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Minister Phil Hogan T.D. and has declared it a sad day for the Council and the County.
Councillor McGrath indicated that this decision will have a serious impact across all sectors of our society.
Councillor McGrath explained; “At present all grant applications and decisions across the full spectrum of County Council departments are on hold. No funds are being paid out and no new applications are being processed. Even grants that have been approved cannot now be paid out which is very frustrating and upsetting for successful applicants.” “I am seriously worried about the detrimental impact this act could have on anyone who has applied for a grant from the Council but most particularly on the elderly, ill and vulnerable in our society. Many older people or those suffering from a serious illness are awaiting grants, such as the mobility aid grant or the housing adaptation grant, to make their home fully accessible and suitable for their needs. It is totally unfair that these people’s applications are now on hold with no information as to if or when they can proceed. I have even spoken to people who have been approved under these schemes and have now completed the work only to be told that the money cannot be released.” “Other important projects such as the draining works at Killmastulla, Ballywilliam have also been frozen which is a major worry for the farmers in that area.”
“I have asked the County Manager to try and reach some resolution in these cases and to seek to make some special exemption for the elderly and vulnerable caught in this difficult position. The current situation is causing genuine worry and uncertainty and is putting additional pressure on strained families and individuals. These cases must be resolved as soon as possible and I will continue to work with the County Manager and County Officials to try to come to some arrangement.”