THE retention of town councils, local referendums on major local issues and a greater role for the Standards in Public Office Commission in local government form the basis of Fianna Fáil's proposals for the reform of local government, which was to be debated in the Dáil this week.
Cork North West TD Michael Moynihan says the plan would see the retention of the 11 town councils in Cork as well as other town councils throughout the country.
"If the Fine Gael/Labour plan goes ahead Cork will lose its 11 town councils in places like Mallow, Fermoy and Macroom. That's despite the very clear calls from people right across Cork, including public representatives from all sides, for the retention of our councils," said Deputy Moynihan.
The Fianna Fáil proposals include the enhancement of councils in towns with a population of over 7,500, new voluntary community councils to represent areas with no town councils, a new Cabinet-style system to replace council policy groups with a greater role in shaping local policy and anti-corruption plans.
"Cork needs a stronger voice, not a weaker one. Instead of abolishing town councils and moving Cork communities further away from the decision-making process, we need to empower our communities and enhance local democracy," said Moynihan. "Our plan would empower local communities in this region and radically improve the efficiency, transparency and accountability of local government."