A CITY councillor has launched an attack on his colleagues for “driving long distances to claim expenses”, but not turning up to meetings of the Market Trustees.
Cllr Tom Shortt has also called for the Limerick Chamber to be stripped of the responsibility of managing the Milk Market, saying the affairs of the trustees who operate it are in “disarray”.
At present, the Limerick Chamber claim an annual management fee from the Market Trustees for its administration of the Milk Market.
Now, Cllr Shortt has written to the chairman of the Market Trustees, Cllr Michael Sheahan demanding an emergency general meeting looking at ways to “end the contract” with the Chamber which he describes as an “unnecessary drain on resources.”
Under national legislation, the Limerick Market Trustees are meant to meet at least four times a year. However, he says, the group has not met since last September. As recently as last year, the executive grouping of the Trustees met on a weekly basis.
The Limerick Market Trustees include nine city councillors, nine county councillors, and nine nominees from the Chamber.
Their role is to oversee activities of the markets in Limerick, including the landmark Milk Market and the Potato Market.
In a strongly worded letter to Cllr Sheahan, Cllr Shortt wrote: “The current management contract with the Chamber of Commerce is an unnecessary drain on the resources of the Market Trustees and has failed to deliver on the promise of new management initiatives.”
He added that because the group had not met for more than six months, “appropriate democratic oversight has been denied.”
“Since the appointment of a full time manager at over a year ago, the old contract with the Chamber is redundant, but still left in place, and the promise of dynamic new management ideas to come from the Chamber in order to earn the cash have not materialised,” Cllr Shortt said.
The Chamber said it will make a statement in the coming days on the matter.