Alliance Party Chief Whip, Alderman Kieran McCarthy MLA (Strangford), has welcomed the publication of a revised consultation document on the Review of Public Administration, giving options that better reflect the need to preserve local identity and democratic accountability.
Kieran McCarthy stated:
“This document marks a major change of course by the Government on the Review of Public Administration. It was becoming increasingly clear that there was no political or grassroots support for seven ‘Super Councils’.
“Right from the start of this process, Alliance advocated a move to around 15 Councils. We believe that this would best balance the need for greater efficiency in delivering services with preserving local identity and democratic accountability.
“Seven ‘Super Councils’ may have made sense to civil servants – but they would not have serviced meaningful communities. Decision-making would be far too remote from the people concerned, and some communities would have become even more peripheral.
“Once health is taken out of the equation, it is still possible to co-ordinate the delivery of services around common boundaries when dealing with 15 units.
“I hope that this new, revised, and more focused consultation can provide the results that will allow the Review of Public Administration to move forward with widespread support.”