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Council hints at another rates increase

AS the Council prepare to set the District rate, an Enniskillen resident has urged that ‘people in Fermanagh need to know they are getting good better value for money.’
Last year, homeowners were feeling the pinch with news of a 3% increase in rates, and the Herald revealed in February 2018 that over the past six years, rates for residents in Fermanagh has increased by almost 15%.
It looks as if the rates are set for another significant increase as a ‘draft budget has been developed taking into account the financial issues and challenges facing the Council in the year ahead.’
The prospect of another increase has alarmed homeowners, and one woman, who wished not to be named said, “As a resident of Enniskillen, I would not wish to see an increase in rates without a full justification and breakdown of precisely how the money is allocated, what we are paying for and what is new.
“I sincerely hope that any possible rates increase would not be linked to a debt legacy from the restructured councils amalgamation in recent years. People in Fermanagh need to know they are getting good better value for money.”
Ahead of setting the rate, the Council released a statement explaining they are ‘mindful of the impact on ratepayers’ but detailed the financial challenges ahead including an increase in salary and wage costs.
“These include an unplanned reduction in the Rates Support Grant from central government; an increase in waste disposal, collection and street cleansing costs; increasing demands on services and resources due to fly tipping, vandalism and additional maintenance demands and an increase in salary and wage costs. The Council also faces a number of uncertainties for the 2019-20 financial year such as the potential for additional costs in relation to the Brexit process.”
A special meeting will take place this Thursday February 7th at the Townhall, Enniskillen to agree the draft budget and to strike the District Rate for 2019-20.


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