Protect our Local MABS & Citizens Information Services from Regionalisation

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"I call on the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadker TD, to issue a directive under Section 9 of the Citizens Information Act 2007 to the Citizens Information Board directing it to abandon proposals to abolish the local MABS and CIS companies delivering very important services to the most vulnerable in our society and to replace them with Regional Companies far removed from, and unfamiliar with, local issues. I further propose that this Motion be circulated to each Local Authority for consideration."

This is the latest in a long series of battles trying to counter the policy of centralisation of local services being championed by Unelected Senior Officials within Government Departments, all in the name of what they determine to be "efficiencies" and "good governance" but in practice this could not be further from efficient and good practice in the provision of public services to the people who need it most.

During the depths of the recession MABS and CIS provided a crucial service to local people allowing them the opportunity to address stressful issues with the dignity and certainty they needed in order to have any quality of life. Despite soundbites we are still not out of the woods and in an environment where up on 35,000 people are before the courts for repossessions, these local agencies are needed more than ever!

The Members of Longford County Council are united on all sides of the political divide to put an end to this regressive programme of centralisation of essential local services and will not be moved in our determination to retain and enhance our local structures both statutory and voluntary. Many of our colleagues in other Local Authorities throughout the State support this motion as do the majority of TDs who moved a successful private members motion.

I call on our Oireachtas to be vigilant and to support us in our efforts to counter this blatant attack on local communities and local democratic structures.



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