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29/07/2021

Donegal councillor calls for LPT and rates payments to be refunded

Meetings should be streamed live - Frank McBrearty Jnr

Donegal councillor calls for LPT and rates payments to be refunded

Cllr Frank McBrearty Jnr

Key issues that could have a major bearing on future council funding and the approaoch to dealing with the mica crisis and transparency issues surrounding it are all set to be aired at today's special online meeting of Donegal County Council.

Cllr Frank McBrearty Jnr has also revealed that he has tabled a motion for the next full meeting of the council calling on it to immediately stop the collection of the Local Property Tax and commercial rates from people whose buildings have been affected by mica, pyrite and pyrrhotite and that they refund all money collected.

He has asked that this motion also be circulated to councils in Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare and Limerick.

In relation to questions he has asked the council how many properties it had bought or built since 1995 and how many were affected by mica, pyrite and pyrrhotite and whether any of its rented stock was also damaged.

He is also asking for the names of council staff, councillors and TDs that met with the export panel for defective blocks in 2016 and why neither he nor a number of other councillors were not told or asked to meet with this panel.

He added he also wanted to know if the council's Corporate Policy Committee had any issues with these questions before adding them to the agenda as he would be happy to take any legal action necessary to make sure they were heard in open council.

In a separate development this week too, the Raphoe representative also reminded the council's executive that he had a motion successfully passed that called on it to steam meetings live.

He added when the public claimed councillors weren't doing their jobs he felt the members were being left in a difficult position as meetings were not going out live.

“The public could examine minutes of meetings or what was written in the media but these can only cover so much. We need digital recordings of all meetings and stop hiding behind standing orders.

“The fact other local authorities highlight out failure in this regard and only feeds the conspiracy theorist and armchair keyboard warriors.

“People have a right to know how we are looking out for their interests and that we are not afraid to ask the hard questions.

"I will always ask questions in the public interest and will record meetings myself and publish them online if the proposal I made, which was accepted by the members to stream live meetings, is not implemented immediately,” he said.

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