A statement issued by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government late week has stated that Minister Phil Hogan has no plans to amalgamate Leitrim and Sligo County Councils despite the fact that both Local Authorities will be losing their County Managers over the next few months.
Late last month it emerged that Leitrim’s County Manager, Jackie Maguire, is taking up the position of Meath County Manager - subject to ratification. Sligo’s County Manager, Hubert Kearns, is expected to retire shortly from his position.
Concerns had been raised in Sligo and Leitrim that the Minister take the opportunity offered by the loss of both County Managers to put in place a joint County Manager over both Local Authorities.
However, the statement issued by the Department to the Leitrim Observer las week, said that Government policy did not support such a move in this instance.
“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,” noted the statement, effectively ruling out any chance of amalgamation.
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.