[Sinn Fein]

25 March 2001

Minister `behaving like Thatcher' by axing waste management powers

Sinn Fein Dublin City Councillor Nicky Kehoe has called for cross-party opposition to Environment and Local Government Minister Noel Dempsey's plan to take waste management policy decisions out of the hands of councillors and give them to city and county managers.

Cllr Kehoe said the Minister ``wants incinerators at any cost''.  He said:

``The Minister wants to put the responsibility on unelected officials who will be under pressure to say yes to incinerators when elected councillors say no.

``If councillors don't stand up and fight this then who knows what Noel Dempsey will do to local democracy next.

``Noel Dempsey can't get his way on incinerators so he behaves like Margaret Thatcher, first threatening councillors and then taking away their powers.

``The Local Government Minister should be promoting and strengthening people's faith in electing their public representatives, not undermining the whole idea of local government.''

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