Clarity call on RPA - McLaughlin

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Sinn Féin councillor Cathal McLaughlin has called for clarity on the reorganisation of Local Government, which proposes Limavady council merge with Coleraine, Moyle and Ballymoney under the new arrangements.

Mr McLaughlin said: “All we have on the record from Minister Alex Attwood is that he hopes to bring a Draft Local Government Boundaries Order, a Local Government (Reorganisation) Bill in the autumn that will put into law the transition from 26 councils to 11. The implications for the residents of Limavady Council area will be significant and we need as much time as possible to forward plan. The Local Government (Reorganisation) Bill will create statutory transition committees, embed ethical standards regimes in the new councils and empower councils in the event of RPA, with community planning and wellbeing powers.It is imperative that local councillors are given proper time to scrutinise the legislation while at the same time ensuring there is no hold up in the time frame.

“I am also pleased to see the Minister has committed to end double jobbing by May 2015. Many local people that I have spoken to feel that it should end before then. I have to say I am a little concerned with MLAs who are also councillors having a direct input into legislation which affects their other role. It could be seen as a conflict of interest, never the less, at least now we have a time frame for bringing it to an end.”