Sinn Féin - On Your Side

£35 million extra cost for 11 Council Model

17 May, 2007

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has said that senior officials from OFMDFM have confirmed that the estimated costs of moving away from the recommended 7 Council model to an 11 Council model would be in excess of £35 million.

Ms Anderson said:

"People would be extremely concerned and angry if the new Executive at Stormont agreed to pay the cost of £35million for moving away from the recommended 7 Council Model to an 11 Council Model just to keep local councillors in office.

"Across the North people want services to be user focused and organised around citizens needs. The cost of £35million represents a combination of the savings that would be lost and additional costs of implementing a more fragmented structure.

"The figure of £35million is half the cost required to tackle Water Charges head on.

"In terms of services delivery the increase in the number of councils to 11 would lead to inefficient, inequitable and indecisive service delivery. It would mean that it would not be cost effective to transfer greater powers to local government.

"It would be disastrous if the incoming administration was saddled with this £35 million in cost against the backdrop of trying to find a solution to Water Charges.

"In supporting the recommended 7 council model and its benefits especially to ratepayers Sinn Féin has welcomed the creation of larger minorities within each Council area. We are arguing that when this is combined with effective power sharing mechanisms that it allows for inclusive decision making on the basis of equality." ENDS

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