THE decision to relocate more than 40 staff from City Hall to County Hall has been strongly criticised.
Staff working in water services, transport and infrastructure, environment, and other support groups are to be transferred next month in preparation for the local authority merger.
Southside councillor Jim Long says members are furious at the news, and are fearful it will lead to them not being able to get anything done.
This, he said, is because in the city, councillors can walk in and speak to officials on matters.
But in the county, this has to be done by appointment.
On the part of the general public, he also says there are fears that they will not be able to access key services - although it is likely they will still be able to access customer services like taxation, and residential permits despite the move.
Cllr Long has contacted city manager Conn Murray. He believes this move was pushed through without their say so.
“Staff are distraught. They were not expecting this. We are in daily contact, and have a wonderful liaison with the staff members in all departments. In County Hall, councillors are not facilitated with a walk-in by non-appointment system. This is going to impede our representation of the people of Limerick in a very deep and damaging way,” he said.
A City Council spokesperson responded that the location of directorates within City Hall and County Hall was made known to both city and county councillors in January this year.
“The councils were also advised that a Business Continuity Programme would be in place to support and manage the Change Programme and to date this has operated successfully.
“The Change Programme outlined at the briefings also set out an enhanced model for service delivery. Significant change has already taken place without disruption of Services to Customers and the planned Move Programme is not expected to cause disruption to Services,” the spokesperson said.