Causeway Coast and Glens Council ratepayers ‘may face 15% hike in rates’

According to press reports today Causeway Coast and Glens Council is ‘facing financial meltdown’ and ratepayers in the area may face a increase in their rates of over 15%.

Independent Councillor Padraig McShane told the Irish News that he received a copy of minutes from a meeting held last month by senior staff. Its claimed that the documents suggest that the council was £75million in debt and “suggested a 15 per cent increase in rates would be needed next year to run services.”

According to the Council’s Certified Accounts for 2018/19 its total borrowing at year end was £71,188,354.

The document has been seen by the Belfast Telegraph which reports officials as saying in the document :

“next year starts with a £4.5m deficit, plus inflation… the situation is dire, there is no evident plan to redress it.

“Current deficit may well decimate services which have already been cut to the bone… we are £75m in debt, 15% on the rates is required next year to run the council.

“The issue is not being dealt with and we are facing major financial issues next year.”

Councillor McShane has called for a full audit to take place :

“I reiterate my calls for a full forensic audit into how Causeway Coast and Glens got to this point.

“To properly protect the people of Causeway Coast and Glens from this and return confidence and trust that investigation must take place immediately.”

The Council issued a statement in response to the leaked document : 

“A finance committee meeting was held on January 16 where elected members were updated on council’s current financial position, including an initial position regarding the rates estimates.

“These discussions are ongoing and the rates will be decided next month following council approval.”

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