Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan has said that the Local Government Bill is a landmark in the reform of local government.
Speaking on the debate today in the Assembly Mr Boylan said,
“The LGB is an opportunity to shape local government to make it fit for purpose for the 21st Century.
“This is the biggest shake-up in local government for over 40 years.
“This bill will bring the business of government closer to the ground with increased local input and democracy and enable councils to deliver services in a way best suited to meet local needs.
“The new councils will also have greater powers including planning and local economic development powers to aid regeneration
“The LGB will also make councils more efficient, which will hopefully allow savings to be passed on to the ratepayers.
“There are also a range of measures in the bill, which will prevent councils misusing power as in the past and.
“It will allow everyone to participate in local government in an equal fashion as positions on councils will be run on the D’Hondt principles.
“There will also be mandatory codes of conduct which we will ensure that we work to the highest standards and a new Commissioner to deal with complaints.
“These new arrangements will allow local government to have a greater impact in making it more accessible and accountable to all our citizens.”