Department says no possibility of local authority amalgamation

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A statement issued by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government this morning (Wednesday) has confirmed that the Minister has no plans to amalgamate Leitrim and Sligo County Councils despite the fact that both Councils are losing their County Managers over the next few months.

A statement issued by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government this morning (Wednesday) has confirmed that the Minister has no plans to amalgamate Leitrim and Sligo County Councils despite the fact that both Councils are losing their County Managers over the next few months.

Last week it emerged that Leitrim’s County Manager, Jackie Maguire, will be taking up the position of Meath County Manager - subject to ratification. Sligo’s County Manager is expected to retire shortly.

Concerns had been raised in Sligo and Leitrim that the Minister would put a joint County Manager in place over both Local Authorities, however the statement issued by the Department yesterday has said that Government policy in relation to local government reform is set out in “Putting People First – Action Programme for Effective Local Government” confirms that joint management arrangements of the type proposed in the 2010 Report of the Local Government Efficiency Review Group, including Sligo/Leitrim, would not be implemented.”

This confirmation has been met with relief in Co Leitrim as Sligo County Council has been plagued with massive debts in recent years while Leitrim County Council has managed to retain a relatively stable budget despite severe cutbacks.