Thursday, October 18, 2012

Council reform is a missed opportunity - O' Súilleabháin

Minister Phil Hogan's plan to reform local government does not go far enough according to the local branch of Sinn Féin. Local spokesperson Fionntán O' Súilleabháin said that the Minister would have served the tax payer better by restructuring local government to allow devolution of more powers to local authorities and local communities instead of cutting the amount of democratically elected representatives.

Mr O' Súilleabháin said;

"This so called reform is a missed opportunity. The programme for government contains a promise to implement 'reorganisation of local governance structure to allow for devolution of much greater decision making to local people’. This was the governments chance to place much more responsibility on local councils, making them accountable for water, waste management, transport, planning and economic development."

"As it stands a constituency relies upon strong representation from its TDs to get anything moving in its area. Unfortunately that is something we have lacked for many years now. That is why we have the strategically important port of Rosslare Harbour on its knees; why we have county based public transport reduced and why we can't keep operating theatre 2 opened at Wexford General Hospital. County Wexford has been downgraded over the years. Our councils have been made impotent and this plan does little to change that."

"Under the Ministers plan council seats will be reduced by 1,667 to 950. In Wexford we will likely lose our four town councils. This means less representation and can only be judged as an erosion of democracy. This plan completely fails to meet the devolution of powers promise in the programme for government and instead acts to centralise power in Dublin."

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