Public service not as public as it should be - claims Cutliffe

A Letterkenny based member of the Donegal V.E.C. claimed this week that the public service is not as public it should be.

A Letterkenny based member of the Donegal V.E.C. claimed this week that the public service is not as public it should be.

Peter Cutliffe, who is also a local Commissioner for Oaths, revealed that in the past few weeks he had left messages for a planning official and was still waiting on his reply.

“It is common knowledge that there is very little volume of planning applications being processed at the moment and consequently I would imagine that these officials are not as busy as they would have been.

“The least I would expect is for a public official to return my call within a reasonable time-frame,” Mr. Cutliffe insisted.

The Letterkenny representative recalled that at the height of the building boom, planning officials would only take phone calls for a three hour period in the week which, he said, was understandable.

“Now with the downturn in building and planning activity, this activity of a planner only taking calls during a three hour period in the week continues which is totally unacceptable in my opinion.”

Mr. Cutliffe said he had received a number of complaints on the new process whereby the Department of Social Protection was now processing Back to School Clothing allowance applications which was supposed to speed up the process.

“I understand that people are ringing the local office and being left on hold for long periods. With a few weeks to go before schools reopen, I would suggest our public service is again letting the public down,” he maintained.