‘Tough times’ ahead for debt ridden Sligo County Council

Forty-five more posts to go under apparent agreement with Department of the Environment

Businesses and households to bear brunt of getting
council finances back on even keel

Officials going door-to-door in bid to collect outstanding bills

Council must find millions of euro to secure future of
authority

Sligo News File Online.

Joe Queenan
Joe Queenan,
Chairman, Sligo County Council

Chair of Sligo County Council, Joe Queenan has painted a gloomy picture of the authority’s future, stating in a interview with local radio that the next five years are going to be  “very tough for everyone”

His comments have come in the wake of a meeting with senior environment department official, Paul Lemass in
Sligo yesterday.

Queenan conveyed in his interview details of what seems to have been agreement to shed some 46 of the council’s existing staff complement in return for the authority being able to retain library services in Ballymote, Tubbercurry,
Sligo and Enniscrone.

It also appears that the 46 posts the council has offered to terminate are to be wound down within five years – a greatly shorter time span than was previously planned for.

No details are yet available as to whether the threatened posts are those of senior officials or persons of more junior rank, or if there is already union agreement to the move.

Queenan seemed reluctant to reveal other apparently agreed measures, but there is now speculation that they may well include eventual hikes in the commercial property rate, the property tax on family homes and other charges, levies and council service fees.

There is the possibility a community tax, provided for under
the county council reforms, could also be rolled out at some point.

According to a source, it can be expected households and businesses will find themselves bearing the brunt of the costs of getting finances of the council back on an even keel. However, it seems likely much of it, including major cutbacks in services, will only be fully unveiled or known of down the road – probably after the general election.