McMullan’s ‘twin town restrictions’ bid fails

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A BID has been made by Sinn Fein councillor Oliver McMullan to restrict the number of councillors travelling to ‘twin towns’ to two.

But the bid failed when a vote was tied at Moyle Council and Council Chairperson, Cllr Price McConaghy (Independent), used his casting vote to reject Cllr McMullan’s proposal.

Cllr McMullan stated that £9,247 had been spent last year on five official trips.

He informed members that he felt that this was far too much and stated that this needed to be cut back.

He stated that on one trip alone six people were sent to Nenagh, five to Ballinasloe and four to the Puck Fair.

He informed members that there should be no more than two members going on any official trip. He also recommended that trips to places not twinned with Council should be taken out of Members own allowances.

Councillor Willie Graham (Ulster Unionist) stated that a lot of the time costs were incurred due to members agreeing to attend and then not turning up and not cancelling the hotel.

After discussion, Councillor McMullan proposed, seconded by Councillor Cathal Newcombe (Sinn Fein), ‘That two members only be permitted to travel on official trips and that any trips to places not twinned with Council should be taken out of member’s own allowance.

On a recorded vote being taken, Councillors Catherine McCambridge (SDLP), Cllr Randal McDonnell (Independent), Cllr McMullan and Cllr Newcombe voted in favour and Councillors Seamus Blaney (Independent), Cllr Willie Graham, Cllr Price McConaghy and Cllr Robert McIlroy (DUP) voted against the proposal.

Councillors Madeline Black (SDLP), Cllr Helen Harding (Independent), Cllr George Hartin (DUP) and Cllr Padraig McShane (Independent) abstained.

Councillor McConaghy used his casting vote against the proposal which was lost.