Concern over cash-strapped council’s spend on consultancy fees

THE substantial amounts the cash-strapped Dungarvan Town Council has been paying in consultancy fees has led some councillors to voice concern.

Dungarvan Town Council has been urged to provide a detailed breakdown of the fees so that they can be “more critically’’ examined.

Labour councillor Billy Kyne voiced concern at this week’s meeting that the council is spending such a lot of money on consultants’ fees.

“I am not suggesting for one moment that there is anything wrong, but the elected councillors should be given a detailed breakdown of them (the fees) so that they can look at them more critically,” he said.

“If we are not aware of what we are paying out in fees to consultants, then we are, in our own way, guilty.”

Cllr Michael O’Riordan (Ind) said the finances of the council were stretched to the absolute limit, and it was incumbent on the elected councillors to ensure that the local authority was receiving value for money.

“We owe that, at least, to our rate-payers, who are funding everything at the end of the day,” Mr O’Riordan said.

Town manager Denis McCarthy said the council had to use outside consultants for many projects because there was a Government cap on taking on additional staff.

“We usually seek three or more tenders for a project and these are then gone through minutely and are very carefully evaluated before a decision is taken on which one to accept,” he said.

Mr McCarthy said there was no problem or difficulty with providing councillors with a detailed break down of the consultancy fees.

However, he told the councillors they could be assured that the best possible value for money was being secured in each and every instance.

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