Lo slams Elliot’s call to block super Councils

Alliance MLA Anna Lo has hit out at Tom Elliot’s calls for the First Minister to block the proposed new super Councils, saying the move aims to turn the Review of Public Administration into nothing but a sectarian headcount.

Anna Lo – also chair of the Stormont Environment Committee – added Mr Elliot’s comments were designed to do little more than scaremonger and raise tensions among unionists and to further destabilise the political process.

She said: “Mr Elliot has got this completely wrong. In calling for the First Minister to effectively block the new super councils, he has sought to reduce RPA into a sectarian headcount.

“If his aim was to simply raise his concerns around moving to 11 councils, then it is fine for him to do so. However I have little doubt his real aim was to take another challenging topic and turn it into the next tribal issue to divide us.

“The RPA signals the dawn of a new local government era, built on a foundation of equality and with mandatory power sharing. It is completely unacceptable to play on concerns over the make-up of the electorate in Belfast or anywhere else.

“While there are still concerns around RPA, it has been agreed by the Executive and the Assembly. The real challenge lies in ensuring a smooth delivery. But this will never be achieved if certain parties remain intent on scaremongering.

“There must be a genuine commitment from everyone in the process.”

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