Wednesday 17 September 2014

Local government 'going down tube'

Published 14/01/2014 | 05:38

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A loader attempting to remove rubble off Duncannon Beach following last week’s storms.

'Local government is going down the tubes at a rate of knots.'

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That was the signing off remark by Adrian Doyle as he prepared to step down as acting county manager for Wexford.

Speaking at yesterday's (Monday's) budget meeting the soon to retire official wished his successor Tom Enright all the best before setting out some strong views.

'I cannot see a future for local government – it's going nowhere,' he said.

He pointed to SUSI which has replaced local councils in administering educational grants and said the new system was 'bordering on a national disgrace'.

He pointed to the takeover of issuing driving licences by a national body, reckoning that licences applications now take three months to process where they used to take three days.

He referred to the handing over of water services, handled by county councils since the 1890s, and pointed to the expenses run up by Irish Water which is now in charge.

He said local government was now a matter of Ministerial regulation imposed by faceless civil servants.

He suggested that the voice of council staff is not being heard and that it was up to the elected councillors to raise such issues instead. Now eligible for retirement, Adrian Doyle confirmed that he will shortly be following events from the sidelines: 'I'll be out of here.'

New Ross Standard

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