BLAYNEY COUNCIL’S COURT THREAT TO TEN RATEPAYERS

26 January 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By PATSY McARDLE

MANAGER’S Orders circulated to members of Castleblayney Town Council at Tuesday night’s meeting named ten local businessmen who face prosecutions being initiated for arrears of municipal rates—some dating back to 2009.
The orders related to the owners of different premises, all of whom were publicly named in the Managers’ Orders.
At the outset, Cllr. Brendan Hughes said he was opposed to such a drastic step being taken by the Council . He said it was because of the financial difficulties facing so many people in the town’s business sector that he had sought to get a reduction in the annual town rate at the recent Budget meeting.
He insisted he saw “no point in penalizing people further by prosecution” and he thought it was very alarming, to say the least, that orders to initiate prosecutions for rate arrears were made against some ten local business establishments in the area
The Town Mayor, Cllr. James Cunningham said he fully agreed with the sentiments expressed by Cllr Hughes.
He said he would be in favour of the Council making further contact with these people, even at this late stage, and try and avoid the prosecutions.
The Town Manager, Mr. David Fallon said while he accepted the views expressed by the members there was concern that some individuals had chosen to ignore the demand for payment, and he emphasized that while Council had no desire to go to court, they were obliged to collect the rates.
Some of those ratepayers concerned, he disclosed, had not paid for a number of years.
Cllr. Hughes said the local business sector was now going through a very difficult era and people were without money to pay. There was little intake, he said, and, as an example, he recounted the experience of one local businessman who had to pay €70 to someone to look after a business for a day, to subsequently discover that the entire turnover for the day was just €22.
The Manager said they would welcome ratepayers coming into the Council to explain …

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