Planning delays show Executive is in crisis – Ford

Alliance Leader David Ford has expressed serious concern that there now appears to be a crisis in the Stormont Executive which is holding up virtually all business. His comments came following a Ministerial statement from Sammy Wilson this morning.

David Ford said: “In the Assembly today the Environment Minister admitted to me that we are now close to missing the target of devolving planning powers to the new district councils in May 2011. He stated that a firm decision on the consultation document would need to be taken within the next month.

“Failing this, Sammy Wilson said that the Executive may have to decide during the summer recess not to take forward these planning proposals.

“Giving planning responsibility to local councils is a key element of the Review of Public Administration. It is supported by all four parties in the Executive, yet it appears that DUP and Sinn Fein Ministers cannot agree on the wording of a consultation document.

“Alliance is firmly committed to devolution. I want to see local Ministers taking responsibility for key local decisions and bringing government closer to the people of Northern Ireland.

“It is a real tragedy that the incompetence of Ministers is damaging the image of devolution and giving encouragement to those who oppose the process. The Executive appears to be in crisis with Ministers unable to take simple decisions on which all parties agree. It is time for the Executive to show it can lead.”


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