Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Local Authority Budgets
Question 366: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Sligo County Council has had the highest overall deficit balance of all county and city councils, as outlined in their respective annual financial statements for the financial years ending 31 December 2008, 31 December 2009 and 31 December 2010; if his further attention has been drawn to the fact that Sligo County Council had a deficit of €2,815,649 for the year ending 31 December 2008, a deficit of €3,232,961 for the year ending 31 December 2009 and a deficit of €2,463,505 for the year ending 31 December 2010, and on 31 December 2010 Sligo County Council had a total closing overall deficit balance of €9,981,616; and if elected members of Sligo County Council at the council meeting of 15 May 2011 adopted the motion that the council, recognising the grave financial position it finds itself in, requests the new Minister for the Environment to meet with an all-party delegation of councillors to consider the critical financial position of the council and to seek the advice and assistance of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in terms of resolving the crisis; if he plans to meet with the all-party delegation in the near future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21339/11]
It is a matter for each local authority, including Sligo County Council, to determine its own spending priorities in the context of the annual budgetary process having regard to both locally identified needs and available resources. It is also a matter for individual local authorities to manage their own day-to-day finances in a prudent and sustainable manner.
I met with the Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council and the Sligo County Manager on 20 May 2011. At this meeting the financial position and the funding challenges facing the Council were discussed with a view to putting in place appropriate arrangements to reduce the deficit over time.