Sinn Féin to make new councils work for you

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In our latest installment of our series from the various political parties, Sinn Fein tell us why they deserve your vote in the upcoming elections

On May 22nd we will elect people to 11 new super councils in what is the biggest shake-up in local government for over 40 years.

Powers will be devolved to councils on planning, the environment, the development of local tourism and the regeneration of deprived communities.

These changes will enable local representatives to allocate resources where they are needed most, making local democracy more relevant to people’s lives than at any time since the early 1970s.

Sinn Féin is the only truly national all-Ireland party.

We are standing 350 candidates in every council area and in every European Parliament constituency in Ireland. This means everyone in Ireland has the opportunity to vote for a progressive Republican party with alternatives to the slash and burn economics of cuts and austerity.

Sinn Féin’s candidates includes the largest number of women ever put forward by any political party in Ireland as part of our campaign to increase the number of women in politics. There is also a good blend of youth and experience.

Equality is at the heart of all Sinn Féin’s work and we have argued for a more equitable system of democracy within councils through mandatory sharing of powers and responsibilities.

In councils where Sinn Féin holds the balance of power we have long practised the principle of d’Hondt where chairs and responsibilities are allocated and rotated in proportion to party strength. We will continue to do so in the new council arrangements.

These new councils will increase local input and democracy and will deliver services in a way best suited to meet local needs.

Local empowerment will be increased through participation of the community and voluntary sectors in decision-making. This will make councils more accountable to local communities.

Communities will also have a bigger influence in the planning process through the creation of local development plans. These will allow communities a say in how their areas are developed.

Instead of the current ‘top-down‘approach to the creation of local development plans, a ‘bottom-up‘ approach will be taken with more involvement from citizens and elected representatives in the process.

The new councils will provide better value for money for ratepayers with less duplication in the delivery of services, better sharing of resources, economies of scale and transparent procurement processes.

Giving councils increased investment opportunities will enable them to direct money and resources locally where they are most needed.

Sinn Féin regards economic regeneration of disadvantaged areas as a key function of the new councils. For the first time in over a generation councils will be able to decide what type of inward investment is needed and have the tools to go and get the resources.

Councils will also have the ability to create a health strategy. This includes top-class recreational and sports facilities improving the health of local people as well as supporting local clubs and organisations. Sinn Féin is determined to address underfunding and underinvestment in these resources through historic discrimination or neglect.

Sinn Féin is committed to bringing the digital revolution to all our communities so that everyone, both households and businesses, can access the opportunities that broadband provides. Not only is this essential in attracting inward investment but also in the education and recreation of children.

With the creation of properly researched and widely consulted upon ‘Community Plans‘ both local and central service providers will be required to deliver on the outcomes. Resources will be targeted at the needs identified and linking in with central government can produce better outcomes for entire communities.

Sinn Féin will do this by working closely with both the Assembly and Dáil Éireann to access funding and resources from central government and from Europe.

Sinn Féin has a proven record of standing up for ratepayers in delivering accountable local government. We stand against austerity and cuts in public services all over Ireland and we have opposed cuts to the European budget.

We have a track record of leadership, of taking risks for peace, driving change and standing up for ordinary people. We are about getting people back to work, stimulating the local economy and challenging emigration.

Given a new mandate we will continue to operate in a strategic and coordinated way to make local government work for local people.

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  • Brian Walker

    I wouldn’t get to excited over the extent of new powers for new councils. But let’s hold Sinn Fein to their word and give credit where credit is due.

    Remind me, what is it they’re promising to deliver?
    That would be an even better good use of Slugger space and help us make a judgment..

  • http://www.thedissenter.co.uk thedissenter

    West Belfast hardly prime example of leadership in bringing economic improvement to the constituency.

    Interesting this suggests wider broadband, when the party has been to the fore of objections to phone masts, or is that another policy that they now disavow. Hard to keep up with where the Party is on any policy.

    So they’ll work closely with the Assembly and Dail, but not Westminster? Given our budget in NI is from Whitehall think that’s a bit remiss.

    Same as most political speak. Long on words, short on anything measurable or to which they could in any way be held to account.

  • Granni Trixie

    Equality at the heart of SF…tell that to OTRs who didn’t get a letter.

  • Drumlins Rock

    does “every council area” mean every DEA?

  • Coll Ciotach

    It is the usual meaningless drivel fed to the masses pre election

  • Charles_Gould

    DR

    I think it is a vague term that means every one of the super councils.

  • Floreat Ultonia

    Can every voter in Ireland vote SF in their next local Council election? If not, their claim is pretty misleading. Every voter in England can choose the ‘We Demand a Referendum Now’ Party in the Euros, but don’t expect them to contest your local authority.

  • Los Lobos

    “Powers will be devolved to councils on planning, the environment, the development of local tourism and the regeneration of deprived communities”?

    How does this statement fit in with supporting a monster goldmine in the Sperrins, Co Tyrone? I’ll be the first to give Sinn Fein credit where it’s due but this is downright hypocrisy as their actions will ruin tourism and the environment in this area of outstanding beauty!

  • Dixie Elliott

    Why is there no name on this? Besides it being the usual PSF sloganising – ‘standingup4u’ etc – I envisaged someone wearing a suit and tie with a balaclava and dark sunglasses reading it out…such is the embarrassing predictability of it.

    WORKFARE!!

    Didn’t mention that I see… Make them work for their Dole!!