Sorry AS - I did see your question and I've been racking my brain in regard to it.
Particularly in that County Councils power all depends on the funding it gets - given that direct funding - as in rates and one off payments from Development have all but collapsed - I was talking to Tommy Kinsella the other day and he related to me that the receipts from the above are set to collapse from over 5 million a year ago to less than 500.000 this year - kinda puts in perspective what can and cannot be done at local level - given that the Department of Finance will now be the sole arbiter of what this country does for the next 5 years and the fact that Carlow County Council has been teetering on the verge of insolvency for the last while - I'm not very optimistic - it will definitely be a case of hold what we can.
As to prioritising where the pain will fall - I think the road network has to be apriority - driving the lenght and breath of the county over the last 4-5 months or so - you'd swear we never had an economic boom at all if you were to judge by the state of the country roads outside the main arteries and the state of public utilities.
Also any amenities and utilities built or completed in the last while have to have their maintenance fully funded as much as possible - letting maintenance go is a completely false economy.
As regards housing - in particular the provision of social housing - well we're stuck between a rock and a hard place - until the banks finally start foreclosing on developers and a lot of that dormant housing comes on the market at an affordable price - I think they should hold off on any purchases in that direction and ignore the pleas that will come from our developer community - they should have seen this coming - risk and reward - profit and loss 101 gentlemen.
The problem is funding - so until the economy turns - all that can be done is treading water and keep as many of the services going as long as possible.
The locals are long gone now and both councils are settled with coalitions etc.. but if there was a general tomorrow morning what carlow candidates would rise to the top??? And who is most likely to do a proper job??
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