Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, has branded Minister Hogan’s attempts at local government reform as, “a wasted opportunity”.
Speaking in Leinster House, Deputy Stanley said, “Today’s announcement by Minister Hogan was heavy on bluster and light on detail. The event was a stage managed, wasted opportunity. There is a great appetite for change and reform in local government. All the minister did was tinker with the structure while ensuring his department maintained the power and the purse strings.
"The minister has failed to keep the promise outlined in the Programme for Government of ‘reorganisation of local governance structure to allow for devolution of much greater decision making to local people’.
Council seats will be reduced by1,667 to 950. But more importantly nowhere in the document does the minster outline where extra power has been given to local authority. There are a lot of previews, reviews and commissions but nothing concrete.
Sinn Féin supports local government reform. We want local government to be accountable, transparent, adequately funded and to deliver local services efficiently. We want to see power devolved from government departments to local authorities and the community we represent. These powers should include water, waste management, transport, planning and economic development. The government's local authority reforms are a smoke screen for cutting funding and centralising power in the Custom House.”