News

Over 2 million for Council redundancies in 2015-16

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

NEWRY, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) paid out 2,026,923 in 22 redundancies to staff for the year 2015-16.

Last week we carried a story based on the latest figures available from the Local Government Auditor.

That report detailed that for the years 2011-12 to 2015-16, there were 555 "exit packages" paid out at a cost of 32.1 million.

That figure includes packages paid out by the former Newry and Mourne Council, the former Down District Council and the new NMDDC.

2015-16 was the first year of the new councils, with the number dropping from 26 to 11.

We sought a breakdown of these figures, which also confirm that for the year 2014-15, there were four redundancies from the former Newry and Mourne District Council at a cost of 299,628.

The Auditor's report also detailed that NMDDC has the third highest amount of outstanding loans across the 11 super councils of Northern Ireland.

The latest figures reveal that NMDDC has 58.2 million of outstanding loans, with 56.9 million of that total attributable to 'Loans outstanding in legacy councils combined as at March 31 2015.'

The council have stated that, of the figure of 58.2 million, 28.4 million was attributable to the former Down District Council and 29.8 million to the former Newry and Mourne District Council.

It has also been confirmed that the source of the loans was the Public Works Loan Fund, and the purpose of these loans were to fund capital expenditure.

The Council has confirmed that all loan monies have been spent, and that repayment of the loan relating to the former Newry and Mourne District Council will be repaid over a 16 year period.

The former Down District Council loan, meanwhile, will be repaid over "the lifetime of the asset."

Lastly, we noted from the report that NMDDC currently has the third highest level of absenteeism across the 11 super councils.

We asked the council what plans there are to address this issue, and were told: "In relation to absenteeism, the Council is working with the Trade Unions to develop a revised policy, applicable to all staff, for managing absence."

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