Radical overhaul of local government needed

Sinn Fein’s Spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local government, Brian Stanley TD has called for a ‘radical overhaul of local government and its management’.

Sinn Fein’s Spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local government, Brian Stanley TD has called for a ‘radical overhaul of local government and its management’.

The Laois/Offaly TD was responding to reports that €550m is owed to local authorities.

“It is outrageous that local authorities are owed €550m in unpaid bills while at the same time Minister for Environment Phil Hogan is imposing a family home tax on households. It is farcical that the family home tax will bring in the same amount as what is currently owed to councils in unpaid levies, charges and bills.

“These figures underline the serious need for radical reform of local government. This reform must lead to more accountability of city and county managers to elected representatives. This is taxpayers’ money and those charged with its management must be fully accountable to the public and their representatives.

“The minister’s recent proposals on local government reform fail to tackle this unaccountability.

“Managers must ensure levies, commercial water charges collected as a matter of urgency to offset and further loss of services. Some 50% of water rates remains uncollected. This must be a priority for local authority management,” concluded Deputy Stanley