Hogan putting rural people last with local government reforms – Ó Clochartaigh
Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has accused Minister Phil Hogan of putting rural people last with local government reforms.
Speaking in the Seanad today on the Local Government Reform Bill 2013, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:
“Minister Phil Hogans's document on local Government Reform entitled 'Putting People First' is actually going to result in putting rural people last if implemented.
“The bill will dilute local democracy and hand more power to officials and bureaucrats in the local authority infrastructure.
“Although there are a number of positives in the bill, I am concerned in particular at the impact the changes will have on rural areas.
“I believe that Local Authorities should continue to own, maintain and develop the public water system to provide water for human consumption free at the point of delivery
“I am very concerned also at the power grab that is going on in relation to LEADER funding by local authorities away from the local development companies who have a much better understanding of the needs of their communities.
“More autonomy should be given to local authorities in relation to road and transport infrastructure, but they shouldn't be allowed to take over the very successful rural transport projects in their areas.
“Sinn Féin would also like to see local authorities become more central to accountable policing and crime prevention similar to the District Policing Partnerships in the North.
“The reality here is that this bill is being used to further undermine our county and city councils and as a distraction from the real issue of not providing the resources needed to do work at a local level.”