West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Omagh Council back Sinn Féin motion on RPA Funding

Published: 8 June, 2012

Omagh District council has given its backing to a Sinn Féin motion calling for Environment Minister Alex Attwood to seek funds to aid councils implement the Review of Public Administration. Under current RPA proposals Fermanagh and Omagh councils will merge, however there is no financial provision put in place to assist in this transition. Sinn Féin local councillor Sean Begley, whose party brought the motion to council, said it was imperative that a funding package is made available for the successful completion of Council reform: "It is accepted by local councils that central government would have to pay some of the costs associated with council reform. Alex Attwood has said that this must fall upon local councils and to date has failed to seek financial assistance from the Executive. The burden cannot be left on local ratepayers to pick up the tab for RPA. It beggars belief that Minister Attwood failed to submit a business case to the executive for the June monitoring round for funds to assit RPA. If the minister is serious about bring about effective, stronger local government delivering for the needs of local people he must back this up with action, something which has been lacking in this case. The minister should be supporting local councils throughout the transition, currently this is not the case. I would urge the Minister, as does this council that he should work in partnership with local government in the submission of an agreed joint business case that will allow for the successful completion of council reform. Note to editor: The motion passed on Wednesday evening was as follows: That this council notes with concern the failure of DOE Minister Alex Attwood to submit a business case to The Assembly Executive seeking financial assistance for local government Review of Public Administration and further calls on Minister Attwood to work in partnership with local government in the submission of an agreed joint business case that will allow for the successful completion of council reform`.