Independent TD Mattie McGrath has expressed serious concern about the lack of engagement by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government with councillors and executives of councils who are anxiously awaiting the publication of legislation to give effect to the Putting People First document. Amongst other things the document provided for the merger of South and North Tipperary County Councils. Deputy McGrath said that in the absence of any legislation, and direction by Government, councillors do not know how they can provide services, or further develop local authorities into the future.
“The Taoiseach has said that the legislation will be forthcoming in the near future but that is the kind of response that just compounds the sense of vagueness and uncertainty surrounding this matter,” said Deputy McGrath.
“It is simply not acceptable for the Minister and this Government to introduce the most radical eradication of local democratic structures and then leave county officials to guess and debate about hypothetical implications. It is as if they have lost the sense that the real world of planning for the future and mapping out the further provision of services must continue while they keep elected officials in the dark unnecessarily.”
“I would call on Minister Hogan and the Taoiseach to give county officials and councillors the fine detail they need so they can plan for the future with some degree of certainty,” said Deputy McGrath.