The striking of rates and the issues surrounding it is to continue, as council agreed at last nights monthly meeting to postpone and seek advice.
That advice will come in the form of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), after Sinn Féin put forward motion which received a majority.
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson in council, Cara McShane said:
“Delighted that Sinn Féin’s proposal to bring in the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy into Causeway Coast and Glens Council received majority support across the chamber tonight.
“The motion which I proposed was seconded by Leanne Peacock
“This Council agrees to appoint CIPFA ‘Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy to give immediate and urgent assistance with the current rate setting process.
“To defer any decision on the rate process ahead of legal timefame of the 15th to allow CIPFA to make recommendations and report to members.
“Furthermore, CIPFA work with Council to prepare a medium term financial plan with a financial resilience review.”
A motion to bring in CIPFA to advise on rates issue has however been dismissed by Independent Councillor Padraig McShane.
In a statement the councillor says:
“The Council have already completed this exercise at considerable expense through Price Waterhouse Coopers. Sinn Fein and the DUP supported the introduction of PwC and were right to do so. This new last minute proposal now clearly hints at a lack of Financial literacy.
“To ask a second financial firm to replicate what PwC have done appears to be an expensive attempt to avoid the decision making process.
“Residents of the Borough have looked to the two largest political parties over the last few weeks for comment on the financial controversy surrounding the organisation and their representatives have been silent.
“What we had presented to us at Tuesdays full Council meeting was the SF/DUP/UUP proposals for the rates. They engaged the entire process while many of us were kept out of the information and decision making process.
“The engagement of CIPFA at this late stage is a luxury the ratepayer can ill afford. It appears designed to spare the blushes of the three largest parties in Causeway Coast and Glens.
“I encourage the parties to reject their own budget setting until a full forensic audit is complete. If that means calling in the Department, then so be it. What’s best for the people of the Causeway Coast and Glens must come before what’s best for the political parties.”