McCaw welcomes Minister’s response to council financial crisis

Alliance Causeway Coast and Glens Councillor Chris McCaw has welcomed confirmation the Department of Communities has asked the Council for details of proposed recovery plans from its ongoing financial difficulties.

Councillor McCaw was speaking after his colleague, Alliance MLA Andrew Muir, received a response to an Assembly question to Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey. It details how she has written to the Council seeking information on the Council’s current financial position, any proposed recovery plan and how the Council intends to implement Audit Office recommendations relating to its financial difficulties.

“Answers are needed on this matter,” said Councillor McCaw.

“Thanks to previous financial decisions taken by others and inherited by current Councillors, we have now been forced to ask our ratepayers to accept cuts, extra charges and rates well above the level of inflation, creating a particularly difficult financial year for everyone in the borough.

“If Councillors had not set the rate, it would have been the Department setting it, which would have been a gross abdication of duty and dereliction of responsibility.

“I am pleased the Minister has now confirmed she has contacted the Council seeking information. It is vital we restore public confidence in the Council and finding out how it reached this situation and plans to get out of it are a step in that direction.”