Unanimous support for plebiscite on town council abolition welcome — Ruane

Sinn Féin councillor Thérèse Ruane has welcomed the unanimous support of her colleagues on Castlebar Town Council for her proposal calling for a plebiscite to be held on the decision to abolish Castlebar Town Council.

Cllr Ruane, who has been highly critical of measures to abolish town councils, has been calling for consultation with the people of the town and a referendum on this issue for more than six months. She placed the issue on the agenda for discussion at last week's town council meeting. She proposed that a plebiscite be carried out, to consult with the people of Castlebar, in line with the EU Charter on Local Government, a charter which this Government has signed.

Welcoming the unanimous approval and support from her colleagues, she said: “The decision to abolish 80 town councils including Castlebar, Ballina, and Westport is a populist move, a bad decision which does not serve local democracy or local communities. Here in Castlebar, the town will lose out. Our town council has served us well and abolishing town councils must be opposed. The Council of Europe Charter on Local Self Government states that ‘changes in local authority boundaries shall not be made without prior consultation of the local communities concerned, possibly by means of a referendum...’ I think the people of Castlebar deserve to have their voice heard.”

Cllr Ruane hopes that “the people of Castlebar will participate in this local poll, have their voice heard on abolition of town councils. We need strong local government; we need local councils with the powers that have been stripped restored to them; we need to ensure that decisions are made locally, and local democracy is protected.”

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