Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (392)

John Halligan

Question:

392. Deputy John Halligan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to address the issue of road maintenance in Waterford city and county (details supplied); and the timeframe for same. [12308/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The moratorium on recruitment and promotion in the public service was introduced in March 2009 in response to the financial crisis. My Department operates a delegated sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for implementation of the moratorium in relation to local authorities, and any exceptions to the moratorium in local authorities require sanction from my Department.

Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each City and County Manager is responsible for staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authorities for which he or she is responsible. In this regard, it is a matter for City and County Managers, in the first instance, to ensure that the moratorium is implemented while the appropriate service levels are maintained.

My Department examines all staffing sanction requests on a case by case basis having due regard to the continued delivery of key services in the context of staffing and budgetary constraints. In considering sanction requests public safety, maintaining key front line services, and economic issues are given precedence.

My Department works closely with Waterford City Council and Waterford County Council in relation to overall staffing requirements. No request has been received from Waterford City Council for roads maintenance staff; however, in February 2013, my Department sanctioned 9 General Operative (roads and water) positions for Waterford County Council.