The nationwide embargo on the recruitment of public service workers has been in place for six years now and has seen staffing levels at Mayo County Council fall by 20 per cent.
County secretary John Condon said the authority has been managing to maintain services but the recruitment embargo is starting to take its toll across every department of Mayo County Council.
“We will start to find it difficult to maintain services,” he said. “It is affecting indoor, outdoor, high level, low level, all departments.”
In 2008, when the recruitment embargo was introduced Mayo County Council had a 1,200 strong workforce. That is now down in the region of 960.
At a meeting of the Swinford Electoral Area Committee this week, Cllr Jimmy Maloney called on Mayo County Council to write to the Minister and implore him to lift the embargo. “We have to take a stand for this embargo to be lifted,” he said. “We need to write to the Minister and tell him the position we are in. It can’t go on.”
There are now just 23 outdoor staff members left in the Swinford electoral area.
Engineer Paul Dolan said the a three week delay on a job on footpaths in Kiltimagh, which was started and then had to be abandoned, was due to staffing levels not being sufficient to cover the entire area.
Mayo County Council is currently recruiting some 50 workers as part of a government scheme for long-term unemployed individuals.
However, this is unlikely to relieve staff shortages as workers will be selected by the Department of Social Protection and may not have the necessary skills and experience to stop the gaps.
Director of services for Mayo County Council Paul Benson confirmed staffing levels are now “critical”.