"THIS PROPOSAL from the County Manager to increase the Councils overdraft from €11 million to €14 million clearly confirms that this Council is on the verge of bankruptcy. It also speaks volumes about the manner in which the finances of this council have been managed." said Cllr Declan Bree at themonthly meeting of Sligo County Council.
"In March last year, just 12 months ago, the County Manger urged councillors to increase the overdraft from €5 million to €7.5 million.
"Despite such a significant increase, the Manager came back to councillors in September and urged them to further increase the overdraft, from €7.5 million to €11 million. Now he is asking councillors to further increase the overdraft from €11 million to €14 million. This is utter madness. It is totally unsustainable.
"This Council is over €70 million in debt. And is it any wonder? For the past number of years the County Manager has consistently asked councillors to adopt annual budgets that were based on fantasy, budgets that bore no resemblance to reality, budgets that were absurd and unattainable, budgets that led to massive deficits in the revenue account each year. And to make up for the shortfall each year the County Manger then urges councillors to take out loans and increase overdrafts. Unfortunately the majority of councillors dance to the County Managers tune and they have constantly voted for budgets and overdrafts which have brought this Council to the edge of the abyss.
"Indeed its only 8 or 10 weeks ago since we had Fine Gael councillors in this Chamber proposing a vote of confidence in the County Manager. Where else but in Sligo would we witness such a scenario?
"What is happening here is clearly unsustainable. While other councils may have had difficulties, the fact of the matter is that Sligo County Council in the only Council in the entire country where the revenue deficit is increasing year by year. This Council is now on the verge of bankruptcy." Cllr Bree said.
The motion to increase the overdraft was adopted with the combined votes of Fine Gael,Labour and Fianna Fail councillors. Councillors Declan Bree and Sean MacManus voted against the proposal.