Sligo County Council’s Annual Financial Statement for 2016 showed a surplus of €2,111,257 income over expenditure for year ending 31st December 2016. Together with the surplus of €659,677 for 2015, this yields a total surplus of €2.8m for the last two years.
Sligo County Council records €2.1M surplus for 2016
"This is a dramatic turnaround when you consider the deficit of €23m generated in the previous seven years"
Ciarán Hayes, Chief Executive, paid tribute to the staff for the manner they assumed additional responsibilities after major staff reductions while also addressing the financial issues. ‘It is also a tribute to the Members who adopted difficult Budgets with severe cost reductions across all service areas in recent years’ he says.
It has been revealed that one area of success in 2016 was a saving of €100,000 in cost of funds i.e. overdraft interest charges, to which he credits Head of Finance Marie Whelan and Financial Accountant Patricia Guckian for their professionalism in the management of the finances. ‘Real progress is now being made and not only in cost reductions. Income has improved and great credit is due to the staff for the manner in which they have reduced the arrears. When this year’s proposed surplus of €1.6m is factored in’ he says, ‘it is clear that they have made a major contribution to turning the organisation around.’
And to back it up, he released percentages and trends in collection figures for revenue sources with the most dramatic change occurring in the collection of Rates, which has risen from 59% in 2013 to 76% in 2016.
He is keen to stress caution however.
"While real progress has been made, there is no doubt of the distance yet to be travelled in returning the Council to financial sustainability’, concluding that ‘we cannot rest on our success of 2016 and are determined to build on that success make further progress this year."