Mayo County Council income down €1.75 million per month since Covid-19 outbreak

Crunching the numbers: Mayo County Council head of finance and new interim chief executive Peter Duggan. Photo: Michael McLaughlin

Crunching the numbers: Mayo County Council head of finance and new interim chief executive Peter Duggan. Photo: Michael McLaughlin

Mayo County Council has seen its income drop by close on €1.75 million per month since the Covid-19 pandemic came into effect.

At the May meeting of Mayo County Council, which took place in the Mayo Campus of GMIT this week, head of finance for the local authority, Peter Duggan, outlined the alarming financial position to the elected members, stating: "It is an ever evolving situation, I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime. Looking at the numbers - where we have been hit is our income. We are no different than any other business in this county or country, we have been impacted significantly, so that for every month we are in lockdown, we are losing approximately €1.75 million.

"This is something that we will not be able to survive - we need to get full support from every representative from whatever channels you have to address this.

"Our rates are our biggest source of income and take up the biggest part of that hit I mentioned - there was a package announced last Saturday by the government to effectively grant relief to our rate payers for three months."

In regard to the monthly loss of €1.75 million, rates loss accounted for up to €1.35 million of that, Duggan stated, followed by both swimming pools/leisure centres and pay and display parking charges both accounting for in the region of €150,000 each in income per month that was now not happening.

The Head of Finance went on to call on the elected members to use whatever channels and connections they had to make the case for a local authorities funding package to be established.

As for planned council budgets and projects agreed prior to the closure of facilities and the imposition of restrictions, he told members: "We are looking at our budgets and our existing spends and the potential of making some cutbacks. Until such a time as we know what level of support packages will be available, it will be difficult, but we will be looking at this in due course.

"We are going to need support and we need to start messaging we are a service provider, who provide supports to the people, the same as the HSE or the Department of Social protection, and we will continue to provide those services; but we need the support, we need to make sure our voices are heard."

He appealed to councillors: "If you could make that case through your contacts to central government, we need you to make that case."

 

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