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Council finances need to be transparent and robust, says Alliance

Alliance Councillors on Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council have said radical action needs to be taken to ensure Council finances are robust, with transparency paramount.

In a joint statement, Councillor Chris McCaw and Alderman Yvonne Boyle said Councillors and ratepayers had been shocked to learn of the extent of the Council’s financial deficit.

“We must now all commit to working together to put our finances on a more secure footing. We need to listen to the advice and guidance offered by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, and where necessary take radical action to start to rebuild the trust of ratepayers. It is vital all Council processes are transparent and open to scrutiny.

“Alliance has recently raised this matter with an urgent question to the Communities Minister, asking for her assessment of the matter. She now needs to highlight what actions her Department will take to ensure all Councils’ financial processes are robust and ratepayers’ money is spent wisely. We need to know if the Minister has the powers to intervene where concerns arise around financial management, and if so, why those powers were not used.

“This year will be a particularly difficult one for our Council, but we are confident we can begin to plan for a stronger financial foundation moving forward.”