Louth County Council is operating well within its budget

Louth has not been hit hard by the shared ownership scheme and the councils budget is still on target after the first three months of its financial year

Louth has not been hit hard by the shared ownership scheme and the councils budget is still on target after the first three months of its financial year

Many authorities have been caught out by the shared ownership scheme which ws aimed at people who coud not afford to buy their own home in one go, giving them the opportunity to buy part of a home with the local authority increasing their ownership in steps until they own all of the property.

But an increasing number of people who have bought houses this way have fallen into difficulties and councils nationwide are facing trouble.

In Dublin over 50 houses bought under the shared ownership scheme have been repossessed.

In Cork arrears have reached 51 per cent and a number of houses have been repossessed.

But the Chief Financial Officer with Louth County Council Bernie Woods has told councillors that only three people are involved in the shared ownership in Louth and so the council is not in any difficutly on this issue.

The council’s expenditure has been on target to the end of March.

Spending in the first quarter of the year is generally low as different sections were awaiting notification of grants.

The council is still finding it difficult to collect rates because of the economic recession.

The Household Charge continues to be paid online and by post.

The backlog is still being processed by the department Louth County Council like all other local authorities will be informed when the process is upto date.

At the end of Marchabout 30 per cent of the houses liable for the charge had their payments processed.

This figure did not include the applications received by the council in the final week of March.

Payments made after 31 March incur interest of one per cent a month.

There has been an increase in financial expenses due to debts not being paid.

Savings have been made on the payroll due to early retirements.

Their has been a high spend in the agriculture, education and health and safety division in relation to the second and third installment payments of higher education grants.

There will be a monthly review of the accounts at all department levels in the county council through the rest of the year.