UUP Councillor Richard Holmes has hit back at comments by NIPSA’s Alan Law on the financial position of Causeway Coast and Glens Council.
Speaking regarding Mr Laws comments Cllr Homes said,
“Alan Law seems to think the position the council finds itself in is all to do with freezing the rates. But he could not be further from the truth. The situation is entirely down to an inability to set budgets and ensure that the council delivers on its targets”
“No private sector organisation can survive when costs outstrip income and Mr Law would do well to remember Dickens’ Mr Micawber’s famous, and oft-quoted, recipe for happiness: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.” (Charles Dickens, David Copperfield) Sadly NIPSA don’t seem to understand in 2019 what Charles Dickens understood in 1850.
Cllr Homes continued,
“The burden of an inefficient council falls entirely on the wealth generators in the private sector and private sector employees and businesses can only look on in envy at the terms and conditions within the public sector and with dismay when the annual Rates bill arrives to pay for it all. Why should council be immune from driving through the efficiency gains businesses in the Borough have to make every day?
“The Council can and will resolve the situation by building on the great work that is done within council and fixing the areas where there are problems.
“There are five guiding principles that we need to adopt to fix the current situation:
Monitor financial performance and key indicators across the organisation;
Set budgets, monitor and take corrective action when we required to achieve budget;
Maximise income from commercial activities;
Drive a culture of performance improvement throughout the council;
Increasing rates should be a last resort and not first response.
“Throwing more money at problems is no substitute for sound financial management which will ultimately resolve the council’s financial underperformance.”