A FINE GAEL mayor in Longford has challenged government policy and criticised budget cuts in disability services.
Councillor Peggy Nolan, Mayor of Longford, joined a protest in Tullamore yesterday against funding cuts of almost 4 percent to St Christopher’s Services which provides disability services to around 180 people.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie Nolan said she was proud to stand alongside protesters yesterday as she knows “almost 90 percent of service users”.
“All these families are looking for is respite, they are not looking for the state to provide for them,” she said. “They just want one or two nights a month to give them a break and to spend with their other children.”
Nolan said she understands the economic difficulties of the country but said she is responsible for representing the people of Longford and their concerns. She said;
I know we’re nearly bankrupt and I’m prepared to take cuts but we should be looking at the wastage in the HSE and address the problems from the top
Although she is a Fine Gael councillor, Nolan said she is not afraid to challenge the party’s policies as members are “encouraged to speak their minds”.
“It’s a democratic party, I’m allowed to express my opinions and I will continue to do so in the future,” she said.
Nolan said she has contributed alternative money saving solutions to both Minister for Health James O’Reilly and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin including the removal of fluoride from our drinking water which she said is “no longer necessary and is costing us millions”.
“A country is judged by how we look after our most vulnerable and most decent people would agree that we should not be cutting these services,” she added.
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