FINE Gael Councillor John Cummins quizzed the Council’s housing department at last week’s Plenary Meeting about their staffing levels.
“Is the Housing Department adequately staffed?” Cllr Cummins asked. “The reason for the question is in May’s Housing Report it states that tenders would be out for the Housing Schemes in Summerland, Larchville, Doyle Street and An Garrann in Tramore, in the 3rd quarter of the year. However, this month’s report states that all those tenders have been pushed out to the 4th quarter. If it’s our job as councillors to hold the Executive to account, then I want to know why we were told that these tenders would be issued in Q3 and now they’ve all been moved to Q4. If there’s a staffing issue, then we may need to provide additional resources into that space in the budget that’s just around the corner, so that we can meet the targets that we are setting for ourselves.”
Director of Housing, Ivan Grimes said that he’d be “foolish” to say that he had enough staff to handle the growing housing demands in the city and county.
“I could always do with more staff,” he said. “It came up at a senior management meeting on housing this week and it’s something that we keep under constant scrutiny. I accept that there are slippages in relation to capital housing project. There are reasons for delays, which are sometimes beyond our control, such as problems with existing utilities, insuring access to sites etc. However, I’m confident that the schemes that are proposed to go to tender in quarter 4 will do so.”