Tipperary Chief Executive Officer Mr Joe MacGrath has rejected out of hand a suggestion that Town Council staff members are ‘getting the leftovers” when it comes to dividing out jobs and repsonsibilities under the new Tipperary Council.
Addressing members of Thurles Town Council having been invited to a meeting, Mr MacGrath said, in answer to questions from Cllr David Doran (Sinn Fein), that he had gone to ‘extraordinary lengths’ to ensure that current staff members were consulted at all times. Over 30 meetings had been held with representative units and information was available at each and every step of the process so far. He added that he wanted to be in a position to be able to inform all staff members where they would be working before the Christmas and is striving to achieve this goal.
“The suggestion that we are not looking after staff members in one area but doing so in another is wrong and I would not want that message to be going around. Some staff members will have to move but it is our aim to reduce the disruption as much as possible ,” he said.
Cllr Doran had criticised the closure of offices in Templemore and Roscrea and said that there was considerable disillusionment amongst staff members due to relocation prospects. Staff were ‘distressed and annoyed’ he said.
Councillors also called for the retention of funding for items such as club grants, Christmas lighting and other local issues - the Manager said that each area would have a municipal budget from which such fundings would be drawn as agreed by elected members.
Cllr John Kennedy called for temporary workers to be made permanent and was informed that an attempt is being made to increase the outdoor staff members. However, this can only be achieved if efficiencies are made elsewhere.
Cllr Jim Ryan disagreed with the abolition of the Town Councils - ‘150 years of history, with the stroke of a pen.’