Kerry County Council hiring a Leinster based hedge-cutting company is a kick in the teeth to local companies.
That’s the view of independent councillor Brendan Cronin.
He brought a motion before the monthly meeting of Kerry County Council, asking if the council would confirm it had engaged a hedge-cutting company from Leinster to cut hedges on public roads in Kerry.
Kerry County Council confirmed it has awarded a contract in Kerry to PWS, which is based in Dundalk.
However, the council added that in 2020, of the nine hedge-cutting contracts that were awarded, eight of these were local contractors.
Contractors from all over Ireland are eligible to tender for contracts advertised by Kerry County Council and the council says it’s not unusual for hedge-cutting companies from outside Kerry to be awarded contracts.
Cllr Brendan Cronin stated awarding this contract was a contradiction of what was on the council’s own website in terms of supporting local.
Cllr Cronin said while PWS were a reputable firm, there were also reputable firms in Kerry that are more than willing to do this work.
CEO of Kerry County Council Moira Murrell stated they are obliged to hire through the public procurement process, adding they don’t have the authority to employ just Kerry firms.
Director of Services with the council, Charlie O’Sullivan stated once the criteria under the public procurement process is satisfied, then they proceed with the contractor.
The council also stated the key principle that underpins these procurement processes is that value for money is achieved.