Co Manager dismisses notion that money was spent on ‘pet projects’

County manager Joan Martin told Councillors that the council was stepping up the pursuit of money owed to it.

County manager Joan Martin told Councillors that the council was stepping up the pursuit of money owed to it.

She said if the council collected a half or a quarter of the money outstanding it would boost their ability to respond to the concerns of councillors . She said a very substantial sum was due to the council in rates alone.

She recognised at the monthly meeting of the council that “most people can’t pay, but I’m convinced people won’t pay.

She also told that it was “astonishing” the amount of money that could be produced when there was a threat of a cut off of a supply.

“We will be stepping up in the next number of weeks and months to try to recover money due to this council, “ adding that officials had begun reviewing all collection processes and methods of collection.

Cllr Tomas Sharkey said the council should perhaps consider rehiring a rent man with the level of rent arrears.

Tenants should pay what they could afford, and such an appointment could help them to manage their finances better. Also it would help the council keep a better check on housing repairs.

Councillor Lennon was of a similar view that it would be better to bring back rate collectors who would be easier to deal with than the Revenue.

The County Manager also agreed to provide a report on how the council spent development levies over the last seven or eight years.

This was in response to a request by Cllr Sharkey who said he found it very hard to justify and defend the expenditure of such money and whether it was spent wisely on some projects.

The manager said she had no idea what he meant by “pet projects”. All expenditure was approved by the members, and was carried out in the best interests of the council and in an efficient and cost effective manner.