13 Aug 2022

Councillors are concerned about not being told about staff transfers

"I often feel our municipal district gets the short end of the stick"

Councillors are concerned about not being told about staff transfers

Cllr Patrick McGowan has raised concerns baout internal transfers within Donegal Co Council

Concern has been expressed about the movement of staff within sections of Donegal County Council and whether this might affect planning at a time when there was a crisis in the supply of new housing.

Cathaoirleach of the Lifford-Stranorlar Municipal District Cllr Patrick McGowan raised the matter at their last meeting when he queried whether there had been changes to the holding of site and pre-planning meetings.

He asked if any new instructions had been given out to local planners around the county regarding these.

"I just get the feeling that management has changed these. Maybe it has something to do with the lack of staff or resources but whatever it is we councillors are not being told. If staff have been instructed to cut back in site and pre-planning meetings we should be told and such a change should be done in agreement with us," he said.

Cllr Martin Harley said senior management should also be asked to ensure one section of the council did not suffer due to another part becoming busier.

"With the regeneration programmes being set up a lot of staff have been moved out of planning to regeneration which is fantastic news for the county but those positions within planning need to be backfilled and we need people there who can hit the ground running because it's such an important issue, particularly in current times with our housing shortages which need to be addressed rapidly."

Cllr McGowan said staff were sometimes moved for months and maybe a year yet councillors were not told anything about it.

"That position is then left vacant and to me, that's not right. I often feel our municipal district gets the short end of the stick. For example, our environment position had been lying vacant for two years. Thankfully there's a lovely lady there now who is a hard worker. Others have been moved from the bridge section.

"We're not told about these things. We're not told in advance, we're not even told afterwards, we just find out by pure chance so I'm asking that we be kept informed if staff are being moved about," he said.

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