FINGAL County Council has been urged to resist calls for reductions in council staff following the publication of the Government's plans for the radical shake up of the local authority structure across the country.
Local Green Party representative Joe O'Brien has written to the County Manager David O'Connor asking him to outline what he expects the impact of the Minister's plans will be on the service provision of the council and how many redundancies he may consider pursuing. Mr. O'Brien said that while he agreed with plans to reduce the number of councillors nationally and the proposal to abolish town councils, he was strenuously opposed to any cutbacks that impact on service provision. ' The document 'Putting People First' is a very disingenuous title and piece of media spin by the Minister on what is a report that is more about cutbacks than it is about true reform. Core staff that are doing the real work of the Council will lose their jobs and important council services will be reduced if this plan is implemented – that is certainly not putting people first. 'We are already seeing the disastrous results of a reduced council budget with measures such as Fingal's grass cutting policy. We are facing into a winter where council services will be even under more pressure and if we have another bad winter the state of Fingal's roads and footpaths are going to get even worse,' he added. Mr. O'Brien described the proposal as a huge lost opportunity to really reform local government and bring it closer to the people.