Sinn Féin councillor criticises council use of English contractors

Sinn Féin councillor criticises council use of English contractors

A council decision to award contracts for boiler servicing in council houses to an English company has deprived the local economy of potential business, according to Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley.

At the recent meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District, Cllr Dwane Stanley asked the council to clarify the reasons for awarding the contract to service boilers in their social housing units to a company outside the jurisdiction.

She was informed in a written reply from Mr Michael Rainey, senior executive officer, housing, that the contract value is greater than €50,000 and was advertised on e-tenders.

Therefore contractors throughout the EU are entitled to bid for the work.

“It doesn’t matter if the company is from Donegal, Cork or Kerry,” said Cllr Dwane Stanley, going on to say that the local economy was not benefiting.

She fully accepted that the council did nothing wrong, but the decision made no sense as there was a loss to local companies.

She said she was disappointed that there was no clarification on whether local companies had applied and if local companies didn’t apply she asked why this was.

She also asked could the tenders be put in the local press as well.

“People are asking why was an English company getting the work,” she said, adding that the local economy is at a complete and utter loss.

Director of services, Mr Kieran Kehoe said that the procedure followed EU rules. The council can advertise locally, but it has to be advertised through e-tender as well.