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Local Government Reform Programme

Part of Ministerial Statement – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:45 pm on 20th October 2009.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 4:45 pm, 20th October 2009

If the reform is to work, it is essential that it be supported. Buy-in is needed from local government in order to gain its support. Local government will establish what it wants from a central business service office and will make the decision to buy those services for its district. That decision will be taken when there are identifiable and considerable savings to be made in the local government area. If local government chooses not to buy those services in and has greater costs for delivering them locally, it will be depriving its ratepayers financially by having to raise rates to meet the services, or it will be denying them of some other service.

There will be a common sense and logical approach to this. I believe that most local government organisations will want to buy into it, but we need to put it before them and for them to take that decision themselves.