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24/10/2021

No appetite for trawl through Kildare County Council valuations

Kildare County Council meeting report

No appetite for trawl through Kildare County Council valuations

Kildare County Council headquarters at Aras Chill Dara

A move by a Kildare councillor to secure detailed information about valuations of property done on behalf of Kildare County council ran aground for lack of support. Cllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy wanted a breakdown of valuations, carried out independently by experts, including the number, the cost of each and the contracted agency.

The councillor also wanted to know why an electronic copy of all valuations was not kept for easy access by auditors and for Freedom Of Information (FOI) Act purposes.

Cllr McLoughlin Healy said €295,000 was spent in 2019, €251,000 in 2018 and €175,000 in 2017.

She claimed that some valuers were selected from frameworks that were lapsed or out of date and councillors are entitled to the information.

“We have an oversight function,” she told a KCC meeting.

However, Cllr Suzanne Doyle questioned the purpose of the motion if there is no concern about the issue.

KCC official Annette Aspell said to provide the information would have the potential to be “voluminous” and could cause substantial and unreasonable interference with or disruption to work patterns.

Ms Aspell pointed out that two FOI requests were granted relating to this matter last December and February.

But the release of individual valuations was refused under the legislation because of the difficulty associated with the request and amount of time required to respond.

Ms Aspell said if the majority of the councillors agreed with the request she would respond but only four councillors supported Cllr McLoughlin Healy. who said the council should have provided the information rather than asking the councillors to vote on it.

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