Minister Challenged at RPA Meeting
Department of Environment Minister Alex Attwood faced sharp criticism at Wednesday’s inaugural meeting of the Regional Transition Committee which the Minister created to oversee the progression of RPA. Sinn Féin Mayor of Newry Councillor Charlie Casey spoke following the meeting, which was attended by council chairs and officials and NILGA President Evelyn Robinson.
Councillor Casey said, “This was a frustrating meeting due to the ridiculously slow progress of the RPA project to date. We had expected the Minister to come today with concrete proposals for the way forward in terms of financing RPA and creating a proper partnership model for its implementation. To hear that the Minister has not even prepared a business case to bring to the Executive for funding for the RPA project demonstrates his lack of commitment to bringing the project to fruition. The Minister knows that RPA will require central financial assistance and it is his responsibility to make the case for that assistance”
“There is a feeling among councillors from various political parties who attended today’s meeting,” Casey added, “that Minister Attwood is failing to champion local government at this crucial time. We all know that change will be problematic and difficult to achieve but we drastically need to streamline the delivery of local government in order to provide the best service possible for all members of our communities.”
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