As previously noted back on 29th May, the First and Deputy First Ministers revealed – via a letter to the Speaker dated 24th May[pdf file] – that the NI Executive had “agreed there would be a review of Local Government aspects of the Review of Public Administration led by the Minister of the Environment.” I’m not sure whether the BBC read that letter or not, but they’re reporting that tomorrow, “the executive will discuss setting up a committee to be chaired by Environment Minister Arlene Foster” – to review the Local Government aspects of the Review of Public Administration.. and that “The committee will include ministers from all four executive parties.” [And those not in the Executive? – Ed] ANYhoo.. the report also points to an expected 2 year delay
if when the plans are changed. And a reminder of what the Environment Minister Arlene Foster also said
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.”
And, as I pointed out, all that previous work looks like being academic..