Northern Ireland news

Causeway council faces 15 per cent rates hike due to finance problems, councillor claims

Padraig McShane, independent member of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. Picture by Mark Jamieson

A COUNCILLOR says he has obtained leaked documents which claim his local authority needs a 15 per cent hike in rates due to financial pressures.

Padraig McShane, an independent representative on Causeway Coast and Glens council, said he has received a copy of minutes from a meeting held last month involving some senior staff.

He said the documents claimed the council was £75 million in debt and suggested a 15 per cent increase in rates would be needed next year to run services.

Mr McShane expressed serious concerns over the document, which he said was leaked to him, and called for a "full forensic audit" of the council.

"Something is fundamentally wrong in Causeway Coast and Glens. Councillors are being kept in the dark over the seriousness of the current situation," he said.

Asked about the claims, a council spokeswoman last night did not address the contents of the document but referred instead to the local authority's annual financial statements available on its website.

The statements suggest that as of March 2019, the council's total borrowing came to more than £71m.

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