Environment Minister to review Local Government..

I missed this in all the excitement.. not sure if anyone else caught it either.. ANYhoo.. As noted on their website, on 24th May the NI Executive met and sent a letter to the Speaker’s office detailing what they had agreed[pdf file]. Included in the list was this

The Executive agreed that there would be a review of the Local Government aspects of the Review of Public Administration led by the Minister of the Environment. The Minister would prepare proposals for the Review for consideration by the Executive at a future meeting.

The Minister of the Environment is, of course, the DUP’s Arlene Foster and she’s outlined the aims of the review hereFrom the statement

The Minister said: ‘‘You will all be familiar with what has been happening on local government modernisation and reform and the increasingly positive partnership that has been developed between local government as a sector and my Department over the past year.

“The Local Government Taskforce has produced some very good work, particularly in relation to the modernisation of local government. But 4 of the 5 political parties represented on the Taskforce participated on the basis that they remained fundamentally opposed to the seven council model which had been agreed by the previous administration, and made it clear to the previous administration that their participation was without prejudice to that firmly held position.’’

The Minister said it would be preferable if the parties reached consensus on whatever number of councils was needed to achieve strong, effective and efficient local government and that she would be working with the Executive to consider how to proceed in relation to the decisions of the previous administration.

She concluded: “ I want to affirm my commitment today to work in partnership with the sector in preparing for and delivering change. I will work closely with colleagues on the Executive Committee as local government matters cut right across government and it is important that they are considered collectively.”

As I mentioned previously.. all that previous work looks like being academic..

Now, what other parts of the work of the Review of Public Adminstration will also be reviewed..