Sinn Féin bring Council Motion on Review of Public Administration

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Monday, May 21st, 2012
Frustrated by the lack of progress by Environment Minister Alex Attwood on implementing the long awaited Review of Public Administration, Sinn Féin councillors on Newry & Mourne Council have submitted a motion which will be debated tonight. Councillor Charlie Casey, who will propose the motion said, “The fact is that Alex Attwood has not set the wheels in motion to allow RPA to happen. While he has said that his department has no money to finance RPA he has not even submitted a business case to the Assembly Executive to request additional funding for the project. Minister Attwood, as an experienced politician, knows only too well the procedure necessary to make RPA a reality yet he procrastinates and indeed hinders the project at every opportunity.” He added, “It is universally accepted that central government will have to bear some of the cost for RPA, so it would make sense to at least ask for additional funding. So for this reason we have put forward a motion which calls on Minister Attwood to submit a business case, in conjunction with local councils, which will enable the successful completion of council reform.” Councillor Brendan Curran, who will second the motion, added, “We do not accept that ratepayers should bear the total cost of council reform. In addition, the fact that local councils, like Newry & Mourne, are only responsible for 4% of public spend makes it unreasonable to expect that councils would foot the entire bill. This leaves only one option – an application for funding to the Assembly. I am at a loss as to why Minister Attwood would be so reluctant to explore this possibility. Surely he recognises the long term benefits and cost effectiveness of streamlining local government here?” “I hope that this motion is carried tomorrow night and that Minister Attwood will move immediately to progress this essential project,” he added.
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