27 May 2022

Leitrim County Council will not borrow to cover day-to-day running costs

Waterford Director of Service recommended as new Leitrim Council Chief

Lar Power, Leitrim County Council chief executive, says borrowing is not on the table.

Despite a call by Cllr Des Guckian for Leitrim County Council to apply for a €25m overdraft as well as additional government support and funding, Leitrim County Council's Chief Executive, Lar Power, said that they will not be following this route.
Mr Power, said that the council's finances "were very well and very prudently managed".
"There won't be a requirement for an overdraft facility," he assured members adding "we (Leitrim County Council) borrow to enable economic development in this county. We do not borrow for a cash flow issue."
Pointing out the council is continuing with plans for a strategic investment programme of €276m over the course of six years, Mr Power said that this is where the local authority will be investing to generate growth in the county.
"It makes no sense to borrow money to pay for the day-to-day operations (of Leitrim County Council)," he said, completely ruling out this as an option.
Deputy Marc MacSharry agreed that borrowing to finance the day-to-day running of the county council is not ideal.
"The idea of Leitrim County Council having to borrow isn't acceptable to me. In the context of the Covid crisis then I believe the full reimbursement for any local authority loss in income is essential. Any loss will have to be picked up by the central government,” he said.
However Independent TD, Marian Harkin, said that most councils are “going to need to borrow” in the coming months.
“It's about continuing services,” she said.
Deputy Martin Kenny acknowledged that local authorities may well have to borrow to continue service provision, however he said that a fund needs to be put in place by central government to assist councils going forward.

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