Independents refuse to support rate hike until airport takes off

Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly. (0605PG64)
Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly. (0605PG64)

Dissenting voices were again raised by independent members of Derry City and Strabane District Council over the ongoing subvention to City of Derry Airport as the council struck its rates for 2017/18.

Councillor Paul Gallagher said the proposals were “not an acceptable deal for the ratepayer” and that a £2m subvention for Eglinton showed that the council continued to “throw money at an unsustainable airport”.

“It is time for Stormont to take it off the hands of the ratepayer,” he added, describing the facility as “little more than a vanity project”.

Councillor Gary Donnelly also insisted the airport was an albatross around the city ‘s neck while businesses were being hit by rate increases.

“The city centre is quickly filling up with gambling arcades, charity shops and pound shops,” he said, while council continued to subsidise, “an airport with one flight a day”.