Sinn Féin councillor and mayor of Clonakilty, Cionnaith Ó Suilleabhain, speaking from the Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland conference in Ballinasloe, said today:
“Minister Hogan cannot dismiss councillors and make us disappear. He must fully engage with us on any proposed local government reform.
“The conference adopted an emergency motion from the Independents and Small Parties Alliance demanding Minister Hogan reveals his reform plans and engages with democratic structures and with the communities we represent.”
Cllr Ó Suilleabhain said: “This AMAI centenary conference has distinguished itself by the level of anger and frustration being expressed by councillors from all political parties towards Minister Hogan.
“There were many false dawns in the announcement of proposals for local government reform. On Tuesday Sinn Féin will question the minister in the Dáil on his plans for town councils, his criteria and what consultation will happen.
“Experience on household charges, septic tanks and the proposed water charges, does not give us much hope. Minister Hogan depends on megaphone diplomacy and spin.
“Sinn Féin welcomes the opportunity to reform local government with the needs of our communities centre stage. Reform should not be an opportunity to strip power from local authorities and further centralise power around the Customs House.
“Sinn Féin’s proposals will focus how best to deliver local services; devolving powers from central government to local authorities and adequate funding to pay for these services.”
Motion passed at the AMAI conference:
"That in this centenary year of the AMAI, the Independents and Small Parties Alliance, call on Minister Hogan and the Government to publish the proposals for Local Government Reform by 18/10/2012 at the latest".