Council efficiencies lead to £1.3m surplus

The Guildhall Derry.
The Guildhall Derry.

Derry City & Strabane District Council has saved over £1.3m through efficiencies over the first 10 months of the current financial year.

Councillors on the Governance & Strategic Planning Committee were told at their monthly meeting on Tuesday that the positive outcome was down to various factors.

These include savings on travel costs and office running costs within council, income from the Foyle Arena now exceeding budgets, The latter will now result in £120,000 being ring-fenced for refurbishment works at Templemore Sports Complex, while any further savings over the remainder of this year will go towards refurbishment works at Brooke Park, Melvin and Derg Valley centres.

Other savings were realised on Visitor Attraction staffing costs as well as income from the Guildhall and other facilities, and Building Control income also exceeding budgets.

In total, a surplus of £1,347,000 has been achieved.

Sinn Fein Councillor Brian McMahon welcomed the efficiency savings.

He said: “I know there are challenges ahead for the council but we are in a position to face the challenges down.

“It is important the Council doesn’t sit back on this good news story but pushes on and makes any visions we have a reality for our district.”

DUP Councillor David Ramsey thanked Council officers for their “great work”, adding: “If we keep pushing we could be looking at £1.5m savings.”