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Future rates freeze a challenge - council chief

Thursday, 16 February 2017

THURSDAY night's recommendation to freeze domestic rates proved a "challenge" for senior officers at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, according to its Chief Executive.
The freeze has been made possible, in part, by implementing cost cutting measures such as reducing grass cutting activities and generating more income by rising trade waste fees.
This has totalled just under 900,000, with Council's voluntary severance scheme also playing a significant role as its total out-goings in staff costs have dropped by just over 2m.
In the report he presented to councillors at last week's special meeting, David Jackson said his colleagues will try to identify more savings going forward but acknowledged it won't be easy.
Among the external factors council staff will have to contend with is the potential for inflation in the months ahead with analysts predicting this will reach a three-year high in 2017.
For an organisation the size of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council any rise will be more keenly felt, especially when it comes to fuel costs, as was alluded to by Mr Jackson.
Salaries and wage budgets as well as pension contributions are other costs for Council, with approximately 45 per cent of its 'Gross Expenditure' going towards these alone.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballycastle Chronicle.

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