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Tag Archives: Niall Barrett

Council owed €28m

DEBTS owed to Clare County Council exceeded €28 million last September. This represents about 25% of the council’s expenditure of €110m for the next 12 months. The figure has prompted a call from Councillor Michael Hillery for Government to give more statutory powers to local authorities, to pursue people of good financial means who will not pay. For those who cannot afford to pay a bill upfront, Councillor Hillery noted at a council meeting on Monday, that the authority will work with debtors to discharge what they owe over a longer period of time. However, he believes the authority should be given powers akin to the Revenue Commissioners to legally pursue those who have money but refuse to pay. Describing the outstanding €17.4m rates bill as “worrying”, he hopes it will decline by the end of the year with the upturn in the economy. The debt includes €17.466m in outstanding commercial rates, €6.837m in development contributions, €1.806m in housing loans …

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Council owed €21m in commercial rates

CLARE County Council is owed close to €21 million in commercial rates, latest figures have confirmed. The figures also show that as well as the €20,995,000 outstanding for rates as of September 30, other monies owed to the council are €8.25m in development contributions, €1.65m in housing loans and rents, €629,000 in fire charges, €426,000 in LEO refundable aid and €1.5m for other charges. The details were released at this week’s meeting of the local authority on foot of a request by Councillor Michael Hillery, who described the amounts as “frightening”. “I know we are going through a recession and there are people availing of the council’s payment plans, but there are people out there who have money are not paying,” he said. He called on the Government to give councils the power to collect outstanding debts. “The council cannot carry on with debts like this, they have to be collected.” Niall Barrett, head of finance, commented, “In 2015, the …

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Too many chiefs in the council?

CHANGES in the organisational structure of Clare County Council, including the creation of five directorates, have led to “too many chiefs and not enough Indians”. Following the recent appointment of new chief executive Pat Dowling to Clare County Council, a “series of improvements to the organisational structure of Clare County Council” have been announced. “Five distinct directorates, each being led by a director of service/head of finance, will be created,” the council stated. Councillor Gerry Flynn has questioned if the right moves are being made. “The new CEO is after coming into his job in Clare County Council and already has had success in increasing the property tax for homeowners by 15%, which is going to bring in another €1.5 million into the coffers of Clare County Council. He more or less outlined the benefits of increasing the property tax and that’s what they [the councillors] did,” Councillor Flynn said. “On the other hand, I’m hopeful that the changes will …

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€400,000 saving since town councils abolished

CLARE County Council saved more than €400,000, as a result of the abolition of three town councils and the reduction of 40 councillors since the local elections last May. Councillor Johnny Flynn had called for a report from head of finance, Niall Barrett, on savings following the abolition of the three town councils and the reduction in numbers from 68 to 28 councillors, since the mid-2014 elections. He also asked what reductions to Clare and Ennis town rates can be expected in 2016, as a result of these and other associated efficiencies that were predicted to be achieved, following the 2014 Local Government Reform package. According to Mr Barrett, payments to councillors in 2013 were €1,266,000; in 2014, €1,063,000, and this year, the cost is expected to be €858,000 – the first full year that the council is operating as a single entity – a saving of €408,000. Mr Barrett added that it should also be noted that the Local …

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