MOYLE Sinn Fein councillor Colum Thompson has said he is “disgusted” that a majority of his council colleagues have voted to pay rent to The Crown Estates for rent of the sea bed along the coast of Moyle.
He said the decision to pay the rent was made at a Moyle District Council meeting on Monday the 12th of November.
In a statement issued after the meeting, Councillor Thompson said: “I had asked for the payment to be delayed so that more information could be gathered from other coastal councils about their opinions on paying rent to The Crown Estates for rent of the sea bed.
“I know that The Scottish Assembly has agreed a deal with Crown Estates which has seen their annual bills cut by up to fifty per cent. Moyle District Council currently pays in excess of twenty thousand pounds for rent of the sea bed, it is an antiquated archaic practice and needs to be addressed.
“The very idea that Irish people should pay rent for the seabed around part of this island to an absentee landlord is ridiculous. I was particularly disappointed that The SDLP chose to abstain from the vote on the matter.
“I was not proposing anything controversial just that we were given time to gather more information on the matter. I was trying to find a way to keep ratepayers’ money within Moyle for the betterment of all the residents of our district. Those who abstained or voted in favor of blindly paying money to The Crown Estates without having all the information to hand are putting their misguided loyalty to The Crown Estates ahead of the needs of the people of Moyle.”