‘Super council’ seeks financial information from Larne

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Calls have been made for Larne Borough Council to hand over financial information to Mid and East Antrim District Council as a matter of urgency.

Preparations are underway for the local authority to merge with its counterparts in Carrick and Ballymena to form the new ‘super council’ in April 2015.

The new entity will have a range of new powers, including planning, house repairs and demolitions.

It will also be responsible for striking a single district rate for domestic and commercial premises in the Larne, Carrick and Ballymena areas. To do this, the organisation requires a range of financial information from the three councils.

The Times understands that Mid and East Antrim Council has received all the relevant details from both Ballymena and Carrickfergus, but is still awaiting information from Larne.

At the December meeting of Larne Borough Council on Monday, chief executive Geraldine McGahey informed members that some information had been forwarded to Mid and East Antim in recent weeks.

Elected members agreed to a motion put forward by the DUP, stating that the council would continue to provide information to Mid and East Antrim regarding financial, governance and management matters, as soon as it becomes available.

After the meeting, DUP Councillor Gregg McKeen told the Times: “Rates need to be struck by February and if Mid and East Antrim Council does not receive the relevant information urgently, it will make that task much more difficult.

“We are pushing our officers hard to ensure all the relevant details are provided as soon as possible, including information pertaining to audits.”