A Buncrana Town Councillor has said it is time there was less spin, and more substance from Environment Minister Phil Hogan.
Responding to weekend’s reports that Minister Hogan will announce a plan for major reform of local government, Councillor Ciaran Mc Laughlin said: “The Minister would be better off engaging with stakeholders rather than using media spin to promote his so called reform,
He said: “Any reforms he introduces will be measured against democracy, ,accountability, transparency and devolution of power. For too long consecutive governments have used local government reform as code for erosion of local democracy.”
The Sinn Fein Cllr said if current form is anything to go by the Minister does not have a good track record on delivering progressive change; septic tank charges, household charges and water meters have all lead to massive public opposition.
“Sinn Fein believes in strong local government,” explained Colr McLaughlin. “We believe that more power should be devolved to local authorities, including waste management, economic development and housing.
“Centralising more power with bureaucrats in the customs house is unacceptable, it is vital that the public have these essential services delivered by local authorities that are democratically elected and accountable to the public they serve.”
The Town Colr concluded: “What are we likely to have? A missed opportunity? Or a local government system for the best small country in the world in which to do business, to raise a family and to grow old with dignity and respect? I choose the latter, what will Minister Hogan choose?