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Super-Council proposals should be scrapped - Tom Elliott

The Ulster Unionist Party is calling for the current Super-Council proposals to be scrapped, following the admission from the new Environment Minister that his Department has identified yet another flaw in the plan to transform the number of local government units from 26 to 11.

Ulster Unionist Environment spokesman, Tom Elliott MLA, is highlighting the latest problem in a process that will fail to deliver the promised benefits to Northern Ireland's ratepayers, not least in terms of cost savings.

Mr Elliott said:

"I have already identified the costs involved in the Super-Council proposals far outweigh the savings for the foreseeable future, the data which they are using is out of date, the proposals take little account of community identity and it could be argued that the boundaries have been gerrymandered, especially for our capital city of Belfast.

"Now even the Environment Minister admits there are multiple examples of serious mismanagement in the transition arrangements. SDLP Minister Mark H Durkan is calling for Councils to sort out the nomination process for the Statutory Transition Committees, who have the key function of smoothing the path from 26 to 11.

"If the Minister has to intervene over the process of agreeing who should manage the change process, the Ulster Unionist Party has no confidence that the process, or the outcome, is good for the ratepayer.

"The Ulster Unionist Party invites the DUP to join us in campaigning for a better solution to local government reform.

"If the DUP can perform a U-Turn on the so-called peace centre at the Maze, they can do the same on local government reform. Let's do the Right Thing for Northern Ireland."

Ulster Unionists