SUPPORTING A motion tabled by Cllr Sean MacManus relating to the Borough Council's Finance Department, Cllr Declan Bree said "there can be no justification for transferring the Finance Department from the Town Hall to the County Council."
"I have been approached by staff who have told me that the County Manager is planning to close down the Borough Finance Department here in City Hall and move it to the County Council offices in Riverside." he continued. "In fact people whom I met in the street over the past number of weeks have been able to tell me about this plan.
"It speaks volumes about the way the County Manger does his business when we have to depend on people on the streets to tell us of his plans. Again the Manager is treating the elected members of this Borough Council with utter contempt. Has he never heard of openness and transparency and local democracy.
"It is very clear to me and to the people of this town what this is all about. Sligo County Council is on the verge of bankruptcy – and it’s desperate to get it’s claw’s on the resources and finances of this Borough Council.
"Over the past number of years members of Sligo County Council borrowed millions and voted for annual budgets presented by the County Manager that were absurd and unattainable. As a result the County Council is over €70 million in debt and its debt is growing at the rate of €60,000 a week.
"On the other hand the members of this Borough Council acted in a responsible manner and rejected recommendations from the County Manger to borrow millions of Euro. If we had adopted the recommendations of the County Manger this Council would now be bankrupt and facing abolition.
"We all know that certain elements want to see Sligo County Council take over the running of the Borough Council to pillage and plunder and take every cent out of the town and squander it like they did with their own resources." Cllr Bree said.
"There can be no justification for transferring the Finance Department from the Town Hall to the County Council. It’s functioning extremely well and it continues to take in significant income despite the recession.
"We have to make it clear to the County Manager that he is not to interfere with Sligo Borough Council. This year we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the Borough. We also celebrate a long tradition of good local government in this town. We have to make it clear that we will defend what is ours. The citizens of this town would never forgive us if we allowed our services to be taken over by the County Council." said Cllr Bree.