Cllr. McGinley said: “In response to Councillor Paul Fleming’s reasonable request for additional Rates Support Grant for Derry City & Strabane District Council the Minister attempted to claim that Sinn Féin had prevented him from making such a contribution.
This is wholly inaccurate and a feeble attempt by the Minister to move the responsibility for providing the Rates Support Grant away from himself.
The Minister was given his departmental budget in the middle of December. He has sole responsibility for administering that budget and deciding how it should be spent. It is extremely frustrating – less than three weeks before the Rates have to be struck – that the Council still does not know what level of support the Minister will provide.
The Minister let Derry City and Strabane District Council ratepayers down last year when he significantly reduced the Rates Support Grant. We are demanding he does not make the same mistake again.”