Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has called on the Government to restore local democracy in towns across Ireland by creating a new balanced town council system.
He was responding to Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Questions which reveal that a new group has been established to review Local Government changes.
Parliamentary Questions from have revealed a new Government review group has been established to investigate whether Town councils should be restored, just 12 months after their abolition.
Senator O Domhnaill said “The creation of a review group just 12 months into the new system shows that the Government is having second thoughts about Phil Hogan’s attack on local democracy. We need a more coherent approach to local government reform that brings power back to communities.”
“The original government reforms reduced the number of Councillors without handing real power to ordinary citizens, making Ireland the most centralised county in the Western World. As a result Ireland is sliding towards a serious democratic deficit, failing to live up to the EU principle of subsidiarity and alienating citizens from the process of Government.”
“This flies in the face of the promises made by Fine Gael to “confront the traditional, centralised top down approach” and “restore power to local government” making them “more relevant to the communities they serve”. It also stands in direct contradiction to Labour’s pre-election promise in their manifesto to “return accountability to elected Councillors”.
“The Government is taking the first steps to row back on last year’s deeply damaging abolition of town councils. Fianna Fáil has consistently called for real reform across national and local government and we have published detailed policy documents setting out our vision. The Government needs to take this on board and start to implement genuine political change rather than the slash and burn approach taken to date.”Tags: