O'Neill: Shambolic RPA Costs South Down £500,000

Councillor O’Neill said, “After six costly years and countless meetings, we still have no new council structures because, yet again, the Sinn Fein/DUP controlled Executive was unable to deliver. [caption id="attachment_21086" align="alignleft" width="374" caption="Down District Councillor Eamonn O'Neill has condemned the failure of the Review of Public Administration and Down District and Newry and Mourne Council facing £500,000 of costs."][/caption] “It is now inevitable that the existing 26 councils will remain rather than the eleven ‘super councils’ as envisaged under the RPA. “Failure by the First and Deputy First Minster to reach agreement, wrangling over political boundaries and rows over who would foot the bill has led to a total collapse of the plans. “The whole process of reform was led by civil servants with little reference to these ‘super councils’ they were supposed to serve and has cost the Down District and Newry and Mourne ratepayers almost £500,000. “There is a real danger that the existing councils will be ‘half hung’ following the elections this May with no real influence to tackle the very serious economic issues which we are currently facing. “This is a political mess which will have negative consequences particularly in areas of South Down with high unemployment  levels where Down District Council could make a valuable contribution by collaborating with Newry and Mourne District Council. “This shambles further underlines the dysfunctionality at the heart of government with Sinn Féin and the DUP putting petty party politics ahead of good decision-making and service for people.”]]>