David Ford said: “The Executive has squandered their big chance to make local government work more effectively for everyone. There will be nothing super about these so-called ‘super councils’.
“The Executive is also now divided. The fact that the two Ulster Unionist Ministers voted against these plans highlights the deep problems at the heart of this Executive.
“Power greed has got the better of the Executive today. Their plans have not given local government the extra powers they need to make them more effective. Whilst the proposed pattern of 11 councils is more logical than Peter Hain’s seven council model, there are still geographical anomalies in this new plan.
“Creating super councils was meant to be about giving them more responsibility so that they could respond better to the needs of their area. Unfortunately, the Executive hasn’t got the vision to realise this.
“This deal is a DUP/Sinn Fein carve-up. If they are not indulging in chuckling, they are taking part in choreographed sham-fights. They would be better off making tough but necessary decisions, instead of producing endless quantities of fudge.”