Minister hits back at ‘waffle’ charge
The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan has replied to the claims by Laois County Councillors that the plans for local government reform are a “load of waffle”.
“All councillors should read about something before they comment on it,” he said.
Last week the Leinster Express reported the negative reaction by councillors to a presentation they were given about the changes to local government on the way in 2014.
Changes include cuts of up to seven public representative jobs and cuts to conference expenses. FG Cllr James Daly said the presentation was “the biggest load of waffle I’ve every heard”, while Cllr James Deegan said they would be underrepresented in the new Eastern-Midland region.
During his visit to the Clonaslee wetlands sewage treatment works, Minister Hogan told the Leinster Express the “whole essence was to devolve more power” to local authorities.
“Under the Bertie administration powers were taken away, this will reverse all that. Local authorities will become agents for local development and help establish enterprises,” he said.
Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council Paul Mitchell then asked him if there would be an appeals mechanism to the number of councillors allocated to Laois, and was told no.
“Local government reform is to make sure national politicians deal with national issues, and local with local issues. Whatever services they have will be added to. They will have power and influence to exert,” Minister Hogan said.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
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