Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Checks and Balances still key issue in shake up of councils

13 November, 2007


Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan has said that Sinn Fein has no interest in giving enhanced powers to councils unless they are accompanied by appropriate and robust checks and balances in order to avoid the discriminatory practices which still exists in many councils today.

Speaking in an Assembly debate on the emerging trends from the Review of the 'Review of Public Administration' Mr Boylan said:

"Sinn Fein has no interest in giving enhanced powers to councils unless they are accompanied by appropriate and robust checks and balances in order to avoid the discriminatory practices which still exists in many councils today.

"For Sinn Féin it was never an obsession with numbers. However the reality is that economies of scale mean that that any numbers of councils proposed must be the optimum size for delivery, and not be considered cumbersome, unwieldy and impractical.

"The truth that many of those who are trying to protect their own vested interests as councils refuse to acknowledge is that with more councils you get a greater fragmentation of services and poorer service for the public.

"The key issue coming out of RPA is governance and equality, these are the main issues RPA must deliver on.

"The emerging findings with regards to the review of RPA are disappointing with regards to the number of functions being transferred to Local government. It would seem some ministers are intent on watering down the initial powers that were to be transferred, in order to hold on to those powers themselves.

"Another key issue for Sinn Féin is that we believe that community planning is at the heart of strong and fair local government." ENDS

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