MANAGEMENT at Kerry County Council have insisted that there is 'no question' of employees losing their jobs following the abolition of the county's three town councils after next year's election.
Head of Corporate Services, John Flynn, confirmed this week that all 280 town council staff currently employed in Tralee, Listowel and Killarney will retain their jobs, while the offices in each town will also be maintained.
Speaking at Monday's monthly meeting of the local authority, Mr Flynn said that the three town councils will be replaced with a re-organised structure at sub county level, which will most likely feature municipal area managers rather than town managers.
He said that the local work involved in the transition planning and then implementation of the change programme is both complex and challenging and is a major project in its own right.
"There is absolutely no question of people being let go, but whether they will continue to work at the old offices or here at Kerry County Council HQ, there are no guarantees yet," Mr Flynn told the meeting.
"There are 280 staff within the three town councils who will have to fit in to the system and we are sitting down to sort that out now. Basically, we are looking at an entirely new way of doing business."
County manager Tom Curran confirmed that a steering group is in place and there is still a lot of work to be done to amalgamate the town councils, taking into consideration banking, IT systems and varying services. He insisted that residents of each town, and indeed residents of the county, will be 'no worse off ' when this new structure is in place.
All arrangements, he added, must be in place by March 2014.