Council to consider £43k NILGA fees

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The Corporate Policy and Resources Committee of the Causeway Coast and Glens met to discuss the council’s investment subscription to the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA).

Council’s Lead Finance Officer David Wright took questions from the committee and explained that last year the four legacy councils paid the following: Ballymoney £4925; Coleraine £4929; Limavady £5565 and Moyle £3441.

It was recommended that the committee approved the subscription of £43,178 for 2016/17.

(NILGA) is the representative body for the new 11 councils in NI and promotes, develops and champions local government by developing regional approaches to key issues such as elected member development, collective lobbying, policy formulation, best practice events and campaigns to improve democracy and public services.

DUP councillor George Duddy was concerned at the significant increase in costs and UUP councillor Aaron Callan agreed, saying: “I understood the idea of all the councils coming together was to save money, not to see costs going up.”

Councillor Duddy said: “We should have anticipated a decrease instead of costs, instead it’s up by a third. NILGA do good work and I am mindful that we let this go this year but we do need a breakdown. I’m not proposing we do pay. I suggest we let the full council take the decision.”

SDLP alderman Maura Hickey proposed that more information was required and agreed that the matter should go to full council. “The increase is substantial. Are there other councils being asked to make a 30% increase and if so are they paying it?”

Councillor Aaron Callan seconded councillor Duddy’s proposal to take the issue to full council, which was agreed by the committee.