Alderman Arnold Hatch (Ulster Unionist Vice President of NILGA) has stated that the DUP/Sinn Fein coalition’s obsession with holding onto power at all costs is the real reason behind Mervyn Storey’s failure to transfer regeneration powers to local councils.
Alderman Hatch was speaking during a meeting of the Ulster Unionist Councillors Association at which a motion was unanimously condemning the latest failure of the DUP/Sinn Fein led Executive.
Alderman Hatch said:“This is yet another example of the dysfunctionality at the heart of the DUP/Sinn Fein led Executive. Both parties are so obsessed with holding onto power that they have even halted the transfer of regeneration powers to local councils. They seem to find it impossible to let go of any control. This was to be a central tenet of the reform of local government.”
“Mervyn Storey’s feeble excuse that it can’t go ahead because of the restructuring of Executive departments is scarcely credible and about as believable as Sinn Fein’s claims that the IRA doesn’t exist. The fact the Sinn Fein have hardly said a peep about the failure to transfer regeneration powers is a clear demonstration that the DUP/Sinn Fein love-in continues apace.”
“We’ll continue to pursue this because if Mervyn Storey is allowed to get away with it, the powers to regenerate our town centres and boost economic growth may never be transferred and local businesses will be left high and dry once again.”
“Civil Servants in his D.S.D department are either dragging their heels, or there is another agenda, and lack of political will to progress this long promised legislation. Failure to transfer these functions will adversely affect the ability of Councils to produce meaningful community and area plans which are required within the next 30 months.”