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Councillors ringfencing bloated £31m wage bill

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BT Coleraine

Cllr Richard Holmes has expressed his disappointment that Councillors again refused to back a proposal to save £80,000 by outsourcing commercial bin collections.

The decision was confirmed at the Full Council meeting on Tuesday 4th February. Proposals had been put forward by Officers which would have allowed for Commercial Waste to be outsourced to the more viable private sector where economies of scale allow for lower cost bin collection options for businesses.

The UUP Councillor said: “We have been running commercial waste collection at a significant loss for many years and Council could have seized the opportunity to outsource this service and save £80,000. The savings would have come as a result of a reduction in agency staff and removal of two bin lorries from the road.

“At a time when Council is trying to find savings across our entire operation and making cuts to grant programmes supporting communities and event programmes supporting tourism, the opportunity to save £80,000 should have been grabbed with both hands.

“But it seems that for many councillors protecting inefficient council operations and ringfencing a bloated wage bill of £31 million per year is more important that lower rates and efficient services.

“The wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth may continue for some councillors over the massive rates hike we are facing, but the rates hike is a direct consequence of many councillors’ unwillingness to control costs.”

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