Speaking at a Fianna Fáil Comhairle Ceantair meeting in Ballyshannon last night Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill slammed the proposals by Environment Minister Phil Hogan as being any democratic.

Speaking at the meeting Ó Domhnaill said; ” Ballyshannon is

one of Ireland’s most historic towns. It is important to recognise the importance of Town Councils here in Ballshannon given that the Town has one of 80 town councils nationally. The Governemt plan to abolish town councils delivers nothing by way of radical reform and instead centralises power. Rather thasn moving power closer to the citizen this will see it become even more distant.”

” Ireland already has one of the lowest number of local government representatives per capita in Europe and one of the weakest local government structures.There are 1,627 elected local government members in Ireland. 883 elected councillors at county and city level and 744 on town authorities. The average population per councillor in Ireland is 2,815 people. This is the highest proportion in the EU 15 with the UK in second with 2,664. It compares with an average of 118 in France or 1,115 in Denmark, a similar sized and populated country to Ireland.”

” The Phil Hogan plan will see councillors reduced to 950 nationally. The new change will inrease this average to around 1 : 4800 people per councillor by far the highest proportion in the western world”

” The changes will see the elimination of four town councils in Donegal; including Ballyshannon, Buncrana, Bundoran and Letterkenny. The means that the tier of government closest to the citizen is being removed. This attacks democracy and does nothing to bring about the much needed reforms. Any cost saving will be minimal and the changes will see a centralisation of power with addidional powers being given to County Managers”

Posted: Oct 27, 2012     |     Categories: Uncategorized