independent

Friday 20 October 2017

LIAM TWOMEY

THERE IS a serious need to reform local government and this will be the beginning not the end of change.

This discussion has been going on for quite some time so last Tuesday's announcement that town councils are being abolished should not come as a great surprise. Although we are taking away town councils, we are turning areas into district committees - more beefed up versions of town councils - this could be to the advantage of towns as it is broadening the political representation in each town and its district. There will be plans in the future involving decision making. What makes local democracy interesting to people is local councils' decision making particularly in relation to spending and revenue collection. As it stands local businesses are very involved in what is happening as they pay rates and have a direct interest in what money is being spent on, whereas thing like motor tax go into the central fund. With this reform package, there is a certain amount of erosion of local democracy but people wanted reform. Town Councils have been in existence for over 100 years, so there is massive need to reform both national and local government.

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