Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (376)

James Bannon

Question:

376. Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the numbers of water service staff who will be retained by county councils following the establishment of Irish Water and if their salaries will be paid by the respective councils or the new company, Irish Water; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15228/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Water Services Act 2013 provided for the establishment of Irish Water as a subsidiary of Bord Gáis Éireann to be formed and registered under the Companies Act.

A fundamental underpinning of the water reform programme is to ensure that the skills and experience built up over many years in local authorities are put to best use for the long-term benefit of the customer and that there is no negative impact on service to customers during the transition. The Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 transferred statutory responsibility for water services to Irish Water and provided for local authorities to act as agents for Irish Water, with this relationship being expressed through Service Level Agreements. The agreements signed by each authority and Irish Water were tailored to the individual authority circumstances, reflecting numbers of local authority staff covered and the operational budgets appropriate to the cost of providing water services within each authority area.

Staff in local authorities conducting work under these arrangements from 1 January 2014 remain employees of local authorities. As such, no staff transferred from local authorities or from other public sector positions to Irish Water. Any employees of Irish Water who came from the local authority sector or from the public service sector immediately prior to taking up a post with Irish Water applied for advertised posts and were recruited through a competitive process.  

The total number of local authority employees (whole time equivalents) working under the Service Level Agreement arrangements on 1 January 2014 is set out in the following table:

Local Authority

Total FTE

Carlow

57.6

Clare

144.7

Cork City

101.2

Cork County

392.0

Kerry

229.4

Kilkenny

82.7

Limerick City

33.0

Limerick County

124.5

North Tipperary

88.5

South Tipperary

101.7

Waterford City

42.9

Waterford County

76.5

Wexford

85.0

Total Southern

1,559.7

Cavan

58.3

Donegal

198.3

Galway City

58.0

Galway County

154.8

Leitrim

44.4

Mayo

191.4

Monaghan

56.2

Roscommon

93.3

Sligo

62.8

Total North West

917.5

Dublin City

674.00

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown

99.25

Fingal

238.47

Kildare

180.31

Laois

83.11

Longford

53.05

Louth

68.15

Meath

117.85

Offaly

53.30

South Dublin

129.30

Westmeath

58.68

Wicklow

86.93

Total East Midlands

1,842.40

OVERALL TOTAL

4,319.6

This headcount will be reviewed each year as part of the preparation and approval of the following year's Annual Service Plan. While this number will reduce over time, the actual headcount requirement is intrinsically linked to the levels of investment within the sector in automation, rationalisation and infrastructure and operational upgrades. The establishment of Irish Water will lead to improved efficiency and effectiveness of water services delivery, with consequent reductions in staffing over time.