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Poots fails RPA test - Sinn Féin

14 June, 2010

Speaking this evening after the DUP Minister Edwin Poots failed to deliver on the RPA and a potential saving of £400 million for the public purse, Sinn Féin Minister Conor Murphy said;

“The Review of Public Administration was about reducing administration and delivering effective local services. This is not a case of the Executive failing to agree but failure by the DUP to implement the agreement they reached with Sinn Féin 2 years ago.

We support the RPA process. We support cutting back on bureaucracy, delivering value for money for ratepayers and putting resources into frontline services. On that basis we put a motion to proceed to this evening’s Executive meeting.

These proposals would have delivered in excess of £400 million in savings to ratepayers and enhance local government. It would have embedded power sharing and equality within all 11 councils. In the past we have seen how councils such as the Minister’s own in Lisburn, has sought to exclude Sinn Féin representatives and failed to address the needs of nationalists.

This process has been ongoing for the past six years. It has been on the desk of three successive DUP Ministers. Two years ago it was agreed to have an 11 council model.

The DUP are clearly divided on the issue. They have now run away from a previous commitment to proceed. Sammy Wilson has already stated publicly his support for reducing the number of councils. Edwin Poots, for the narrowest of political interest’s, stands opposed to change.

The DUP fought the recent election campaign on a platform of cutting bureaucracy. Yet they failed to deliver. We face a very severe public spending round. This will require us to make savings, to protect frontline services. Edwin Poots has set aside six years work and set aside an agreement to proceed to the 11 council model. It will be ratepayers who have to pay for his failings.” CRÍOCH

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