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Council of Europe report a damning indictment of Hogan's local government proposals

10 May, 2013 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government, Brian Stanley TD has Described the Council of Europe Report as a damming indictment of Minister Hogan's local government proposals.

Responding today to the Council of Europe’s draft report entitled 'Local Democracy in Ieland' Deputy Stanley said;

“This is a damning report. It shows that consecutive governments, despite promises, have failed to reform local government.

"Minister Hogan continues on this path. His proposals last October will only further centralise power in the Customs House. Nowhere does he outline what powers will be decentralised to local authorities.

"His proposals were merely a cost cutting exercise and a cull of local councillors. The new policy paper, although it praises decentralisation in spirit, does not appear to provide many concrete steps in that direction. The Rapporteurs are concerned that some of the actual steps proposed go, in fact, in the opposite direction.'

“The Council’s report underlines what Sinn Féin has been calling for. It says very clearly that ‘There is an almost universal recognition that radical changes are needed more than ever and that government in Ireland remains highly centralised.’

“Sinn Féin wants to see strong local government with real power, real decision making powers which are adequately funded through progressive taxation and rates. We believe power must be devolved from central government to local authorities and the balance of power shifted from City and County Managers to elected councillors.

"These powers should include education, waste management, environment, housing, water services and roads from government departments to local authorities and district councils including.

“Sinn Féin supports strong City, County and local district councils with devolved powers, that are democratic accountable and deliver local services in an efficient cost effective way. We support a single mandate for councillors.

“This report should be read and acted upon by Minister Hogan. His current proposals belong to a bye gone era. It is time for real, radical reform of local government.”

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