Sligo County Council to seek report from Leader

Sligo County Council is to seek a report from the board of Sligo Leader following concerns raised by a councillor at the January meeting of the council.

Independent Councillor Michael Clarke described the performance of Sligo Leader as ‘dismal at best and incompetent at worst.’

In a motion on the agenda of last Monday’s January monthly meeting of the council, Cllr Clarke said that given the importance of Sligo Leader as an economic driver for the county, he believed the performance of the board of Sligo Leader has been dismal.

He asked if the council and the people of County Sligo could continue to have confidence in the board.

The motion, seeking a report from the board of Leader, was seconded by Independent Councillor Joe Queenan.

Ocean FM News has sought a response from Sligo Leader.

Cllr Clarke said councillors were elected by the people to ask questions.

He claimed only 17% of the money available to Leader was allocated last year.

He also claimed Sligo had missed out on half a million euro that was available to the top ten performing Leader groups.

He praised the work done by Leader in the past but said the fund application process that groups had to engage in needed to be revamped.

Cllr Queenan said there is a lot of frustration among community groups over how hard it is to get funding and the paperwork involved, resulting in ‘too much red tape.’

He added that he thought it was time Leader should come under the county council’s Local Community Development Committee

Council Chief Executive Ciaran Hayes said the council would bring the comments back to Leader and ask for a report.

However, Cllr Paul Taylor emphasised that there was great work done by the staff of Leader.

But Cllr Clarke said any body charged with the dispensation of public money should be held to account.