Sinn Féin Councillor Elisha McCallion said there are serious concerns that there could be a disproportionate increase for Derry and Strabane ratepayers if the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) and the DOE Minister Mark Durkan don’t resolve issues around setting the rates in the transition period from the old to new council structures.
Councillor McCallion said “With the change over to the new council structures in a few months time we are now in a period of transition. One of the major changes is the formula on how the annual rates bill is worked out.
Council has been trying to get clarity from DFP and the DOE Minister Mark Durkan around the new processes and what safeguards are in place to lessen the financial impact the convergence of the two councils will have on rate payers – both domestic and non-domestic – during this period. It is particularly frustrating that the DoE minister has thus far failed to engage with council officers despite repeated attempts to arrange meetings.
There is a growing concern that if these issues are not resolved satisfactorily rate payers in both Derry and Strabane could be hit hardest of any area across the north. We are committed to ensuring this does not happen.”