Eugene Murphy Tarmonbarry Portiuncula

Eugene Murphy: 40% Reduction in Council staff affecting local services

Eugene Murphy Tarmonbarry Portiuncula
Eugene Murphy TD has warned that outdoor staffing levels at Roscommon County Council have been reduced by almost 40% since 2008 which is having a detrimental knock on effect on services to local communities particularly in terms of hedge cutting and visibility issues at junctions throughout the county.

The Fianna Fáil Deputy said that the situation is now reaching crisis levels and he has called for extra jobs to be allocated to the outdoor staffing section of Roscommon County Council in a bid to address the issue.

“I have obtained figures from Roscommon County Council which indicates that the number of outdoor staff employed by Roscommon County Council on September 30th, 2008 was 263 but the number currently employed is 160. That is a loss of 103 staff which is almost 40% of a reduction which is utterly staggering and it has had a massive detrimental knock on effect on services in local communities. I have been contacted by numerous constituents in relation to visibility problems at junctions and local roads where hedges are been left uncut and in a dangerously overgrown state and I am calling on Roscommon County Council to assign extra staff to the outdoor section as a matter of urgency,” said Eugene Murphy.

Deputy Murphy also highlighted the fact that Roscommon County Council’s overall workforce has reduced by 35% since 2008.

Eugene Murphy recently raised the matter with the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney when he highlighted the reduction of outdoor staffing levels in Roscommon County Council since 2008. Minister Coveney indicated that Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each Chief Executive is responsible for the staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authorities for which he or she is responsible. In this regard, it is a matter for each individual Chief Executive to recruit and assign staff to specific divisions.

“adjustment, reorganising and restructuring”

Deputy Murphy received the following response to his staffing query from CEO of Roscommon County Council Mr Eugene Cummins: “This reduction has been carefully managed at local level and the Council has continued to deliver quality services to the public in County Roscommon. This reduction in staffing levels reflects the targets prescribed for the local government sector under the Employment Control Framework (ECF). This, together with the moratorium on recruitment, sought a graduated reduction in staffing numbers in the sector from 2008 to 31st December 2015. The reduction in staffing levels has been managed at local level through a process of adjustment, reorganising and restructuring as envisaged in the Public Service Agreements, whilst continuing to maintain and provide a high level of service to the community.”