Housing and local government

 

A chara, – Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy is attempting to shift the blame for the failure of his Government’s housing policies to local authorities. He threatens to remove powers. He should instance specific failures by specific councils before continuing with this general line of attack.

The Government transferred responsibility for decisions on planning from local Councils to An Bord Pleanála over a year ago, claiming, without evidence, that the local planning process was delaying home building.

The facts to date show that this has not resulted in an increase in home building and simply was an undermining of local democracy.

At present, when a council submits a proposal to Mr Murphy’s department to construct social housing, it takes on average two years for his department to complete four stages of approval before building can begin.

Would the Minister not look at devolving those powers to councils which would act on social housing rather than looking to pass the buck and continually threaten local government? – Is mise,

Cllr MALCOLM BYRNE,

(Fianna Fáil),

Gorey,

Co Wexford.