Council staffing levels almost critical

An appeal has been made to the county manager to press ahead with representations he has committed to making in relation to the lifting of the public service recruitment embargo.

Sinn Féin county councillor Gerry Murray raised the issue at the Swinford electoral area committee meeting this week, where he said the county manager Mr Peter Hynes indicated he was going to ask the Government to lift the recruitment embargo which has been in place since 2008.

According to Cllr Murray there are currently 958 staff in the council but this number is rapidly heading towards 920, “a critical level”, and he said the county manager has serious concerns about health and safety issues.

“We need this to be lifted. Particularly in relation to outdoor staff,” Cllr Murray explained. He added that heading into the winter the council would not be able to provide basic road maintenance if there was not the staff to carry out the works.

“The situation is particularly and utterly and totally frustrating,” he added, explaining that notice of motion money which the councillors allocated to particular projects last year was still not spent.

The Charlestown based councillor alluded to the high unemployment levels and the “great skill base” now looking for work, which he said could be an asset if recruited.

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