Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has described the striking of the Council Rates as ‘a time of challenge and opportunity’.
Cllr. McGinley said: “In considering all the issues which are involved in agreeing to a rates increase of 2.99% Sinn Féin has attempted to balance the challenge of external financial pressures with the opportunity for inward investment potential.
The rates increase provides protection against the cuts to our Rates Support Grant and Community Support Fund but also allows Council to continue investing in our significant Capital Build programme which will deliver a number of key projects across the area.
These initiatives include the construction of two state of the art leisure facilities in Derry and Strabane, the building of a number of new community centres and play parks and the continued development of our greenway network.
In addition, we welcome the commitment of council to support Sinn Féin’s proposal for investment in our jobs and skills programmes which are such key elements of our Strategic Growth Plan.
Council could not function without the hard work and diligence of our staff across all of our services and Sinn Féin supports that element of the rates increase which will ensure council workers receive a much-needed pay rise.
We will continue to challenge cuts imposed by civil servants at the behest of Tory austerity but we also have a responsibility to ensure that vital frontline funding for community and voluntary organisations continues to be provided.
We believe that Derry City & Strabane District Council is well placed to provide effective strategic leadership across the North West, we are committed to providing first class services, events and festivals and Sinn Féin will use the striking of this rate to deliver real opportunities for all our citizens.”