MORE than 10,000 Mayo homeowners face potential legal action after failing to pay the household charge. n July, Mayo County Council had been threatened with cuts of €2.57 million from the Local Government Fund (LGF) if it did not improve collection rates of the charge. At that stage, the collection rate in Mayo was 63 per cent, but county manager Peter Hynes told a special meeting of Mayo County Council that as of yesterday (Monday) the figure now stands at 68.5 per cent. He said that a cut to the LFG would be “catastrophic” and noted that €641,589 was already deducted from the third quarter payment due to the council.
Following meetings with the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Minister Phil Hogan, the council have been told that if the collection rate reaches 75 to 80 per cent the Local Government Fund will be paid in full.
Referring to information obtained in a Freedom of Information request, Cllr Durcan told a special budget meeting of Mayo County Council that County Manager Peter Hynes had claimed expenses in 2011 totalling €22,390. He said that the county manager was the only official to claim expenses over €20,000 while two council employees made claims over €15,000, 25 claimed over €10,000 and 255 claimed over €5,000. In total, the expense claims amounted to a staggering €3.2m for 2011.
Cllr Durcan also drew attention to a claim by one council employee for €35.45 following purchases in a Castlebar pub.