By Colm Gannon
Ballina based Independent councillor Gerry Ginty got involved with a war of words with Mayo County Council chief executive, Peter Hynes, at the October meeting of the local authority, over financial issues.
During a financial review of the council’s activities for the nine months to date, Cllr Ginty asked on a number of occasions what amount of money was transferred from the three former town councils in Castlebar, Westport, and Ballina to Mayo County Council when those councils were abolished in June and what has happened that money. The issue of what had happened the money was also broached by Fine Gael Cllr Jarlath Munnelly and Fianna Fáil Cllr Brendan Mulroy.
Cllr Ginty said he would like to know what the figures were as there had been a lot of good work and prudent planning by the town councils over the past in keeping money aside for projects. Mr Hynes told the meeting that those figures would be available at the budget meeting which will take place next month.
Cllr Ginty responded: “All I want is three simple figures.” The chief executive replied: “They are not that simple really to put together.” The council will hold its annual budget meeting on November 10, starting at 10am. Councillors will adjourn the meeting at 3pm for their regular monthly meeting, before reconvening after it to conclude the budget if necessary. As of last January, there was a €5.4 million deficit in the revenue account of the council and the members were warned they would have to deal with that at the start of the budgetary process.