21 May 2022

Group plan protest at council buildings

A protest is to be held outside the headquarters of the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council in Coleraine this evening.

Portrush water park to close as part of savings being made by crisis-hit Causeway council

Waterworld in Portrush is to close.

A protest is to be held outside the headquarters of the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council in Coleraine this evening.

A group calling themselves Causeway Coast & Glens Council Debt Watch have organised the protest to call for a forensic audit of the council’s financial processes and procedures.

The protest will take place ahead of tonight’s full council meeting at Cloonavin, which is due to start at 7:00pm.

A spokesperson for the group said they had experienced a surge in support since first posting last weekend.

They said: “We have almost 1,800 members now in a week on our Facebook page and our sole aim is to get as much support as possible for a forensic audit for our council.

“A motion calling for a forensic audit had been passed following an SDLP motion, but a group of six councillors used a ‘call-in’ motion, similar to Stormont’s petition of concern, to block it.

“There were six councillors who basically said that they would block this demand that had already been passed in council,” said a spokesperson.

“They claimed audits have already been carried out, but our understanding is that these weren’t proper audits and weren’t as detailed as what a forensic audit would be.”

The group say outstanding debt is causing concern among ratepayers who are now faced with a large hike in rates.

“We were told when Moyle joined this super-council that our rates would fall, our services would be better.

“Now we’re looking at an £80m debt and a 7.6% rise in rates.”

Last month, the council voted for a rates increase of 7.65% after figures showed the council had the second-highest level of outstanding debt – £71,188,000 - of all the Northern Ireland councils in 2019.

Causeway Coast & Glens Council Debt Watch say they will continue their action until they get answers.

“If there are no responses, we’ll continue to gather more evidence and we’ll protest again at April’s meeting,”the spokesperson for the group added.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.