Date Published: 14-Apr-2011
BY FRANK FARRAGHER
Galway City Council managed to ‘stay out of the red’ last year despite a major difficulty in collecting revenue – the books were balanced mainly by cutting payroll costs and reducing expenditure in services.
However, the financial downturn continues to bite deeply into the City Council’s budget with a ‘significant write-off’ of rates (€4.6m) as businesses continue to ‘go bust’, according to the City Council’s Annual Financial Statement for 2010. There are also additional rates arrears of €14.5m.
The recession has also hit hard at one of the big earners in the good times – the city’s network of pay and display carparks – with a major drop in the number of cars entering the city centre. With total expenditure of €84.8m, as well as a transfer of €4.8m into reserves, the City Council still recorded a net surplus of over €458,000 for 2010.
“The 2010 results reflect the successful efforts to reduce expenditure further while endeavouring to maintain essential services at acceptable levels and ensure compliance in an increased regulatory environment,” the City Council’s Financial Review states.
The financial downturn is also hitting the income levels of the Council’s two main leisure outlets – Leisureland and the Town Hall Theatre – while income from planning fees and fire safety certificates was also well down.
Despite having written off €4.6m in rates payments for 2010, there is a further €14.5m in rates to be collected in arrears – the total amount of rates collected last year was €25.5m.
The next biggest arrears heading is in commercial water charges totalling €3.16m, with €1.85m owed in rents and annuities as well as €1.2m still due in domestic refuse charges. There is a €430,000 deficit in housing loans.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.