Cllr Shane Cassells.
Spending on vital local services in Meath may be cut by as much as €2.4 million this year as a 'punishment' for the county's 48 per cent shortfall in revenue generated from the Household Charge.
A stark warning has been issued that the cut will "break" the local authority and fears have been expressed for the future of many council services and projects in the wake of a Department of the Environment decision to reduce the council's funding by 12 per cent.
Navan Fianna Fail Cllr Shane Cassells believes the future of roads, local parks, town centre upgrades and council housing maintenance budgets all will be affected by "this savage cut".
The spokesperson said the council was currently assessing the implications of the move and will be conducting a full review of expenditure. "In the meantime, the council would like to thank the people who have paid the Household Charge and is appealing to people who have not yet paid to do so as soon as possible," she said.
Cllr Cassells has called for an immediate reversal of the move, which, he says, will only penalise everyone in society, including those who actually have paid the charge. He called for an urgent meeting to discuss the impact such cuts are going to have on the services provided by Meath County Council.
"This hits at the very core of our services and leaves us in a dire situation," he predicted. "We were already struggling as things stand and a 12 per cent cut midway through the year strikes right at the heart of our communities.
"This cut comes on top of a nine per cent reduction in funding which was already announced at Christmas time."
To read the full story see this week's Meath Chronicle.