RESPONDING TO A report from the County Manager on the employment of a consultant to observe the behaviour of councillors at Council meetings Cllr Declan Bree told this months meeting of Sligo Borough Council that everyone in this community knows where this stems from. "It has nothing got to do with health and safety or bullying or inappropriate behaviour. That’s only a red herring.
"This all stems from the disgraceful recommendation that this Borough Council should hand over €1.3 million of public funds to a development company to assist them build a bridge to their private development on the Glasshouse site. This is what it’s about
"The County Manager was incensed when the recommendation to hand over €1.3 million was rejected and the matter was highlighted.
"At the Borough Council meeting when the recommendation was discussed I made it clear that there was significant public concern about the fact that certain senior officials and councillors wanted to hand over €1.3 million of public monies to a private development company to assist them build a bridge to their private development at the Glasshouse Hotel and I said this is considered daylight robbery and the public won’t stand for it.
"The County Manager then set up his kangaroo court in an attempt to divert attention from the real issue, the recommendation to hand €1.3 million of public monies to private developers. And when that didn’t work he decided to put the consultant from Wicklow on his payroll." said Cllr Bree.
"However I want to make it abundantly clear to the County Manger that I stand over everything I said. I have a mandate from the people of this community to protect their interests. And while they continue to vote for me I will speak on their behalf. I will not be muzzled by the Manager or his agents. The recommendation that the Council should hand over €1.3 million to a private development company to build a footbridge can only be described as scandalous. I will not apologise for telling the truth.
"It’s a public scandal that such a recommendation was ever made and then for the County Manager to suggest to councillors that 'it represents excellent value for money'. The fact is that that the development company applied for planning permission for a development which included a hotel, apartments, retail units and a pedestrian footbridge and it is a condition of the planning permission that the bridge shall be completed by the developers and open to public access within six months of the occupation of any of the apartments.
"I believe it’s now time for the County Manager to explain to the people of Sligo why a recommendation was made to the Borough Council that it should hand over €1.3 million to developers." Cllr Bree concluded.