The merger of Tipperary’s county councils will cost E2.35m to achieve in 2014 while a boundary commission is to be established to redraw the county’s electoral areas and review councillor numbers ahead of the local elections in June that year.
And new customer service desks are to be installed at the two main centres for the new all Tipperary Co. Council at the existing county halls in Clonmel and Nenagh, which will enable customers to have access to all the local authority’s services.
This new information about the controversial unification of the county’s local government emerged at South Tipperary Co. Council’s September meeting where there was further condemnation of the plan from independent councillors with Cllr Richie Molloy appealing to the Council to request the merger be deferred.
Cllr Molloy’s call, however, wasn’t taken up by other councillors with Cllrs Siobhan Ambrose (FF) and Tom Wood (Ind) pointing out it was akin to closing the gate after the horse has closed as the decision has been made. A report revealed the merger will involve once-off costs of E1.79m, mostly for information technology, and it will cost a further E560,000 to harmonise commercial rates and service charges across both councils. There will be a 40% reduction at top management level, which Mr McEvoy explained would translate to a cut from 13 such staff to six comprising a county manager and just five Directors of Services.