Mayo County Council recorded a surplus of €239,866 on its revenue account for 2011 according to its annual financial statement which was adopted at this week’s meeting of the council. The surplus was recorded on a turnover of €147 million last year. County manager Peter Hynes told the meeting: “We’re under significant pressure and it is good to have made a small surplus in a tough year, a lot of organisations would like to be in this position.”
While the news of the surplus was welcomed by members, some also expressed fears for the future of the council, with Fine Gael councillor Peter Flynn stating: “While any sort of surplus is welcome, it also has to be taken in consideration we are carrying around €118 million in debt. Over the past few years we’ve seen more and more of this council’s authority stripped away, most recently with the removal of grants, driving licences, and water. We are a dying vocation, because other quangos are coming in and picking off the bits they want. We should be taking back control, not giving it away.”
Cllr Gerry Murray and Cllr Damien Ryan also condemned the stripping away of services in the control of the council.
County manager Mr Hynes concurred with a lot of the points saying: “To some extent it is hard to argue with the death by 1,000 cuts, there is a view abroad that centralisation is the best thing, and that has been backed up in the McCarthy report. But then there are positives such as the bringing in of the County Development Board under the auspices of the council.”
The Manager also said that the development of Irish Water will have to be carefully monitored. “We will have to be very careful to ensure that the liabilities are transferred out of here to them and not just the assets”, he said.