MP supports decentralisation

Socialist PS MP in the Algarve, Miguel Freitas, has criticised the new map for parish council reorganisation, which is being prepared by the current PSD-CDS government, and says he supports regionalisation as a way to strengthen local power.

In a press statement, Freitas announced that the project to reorganise the administrative territory of parishes represents “a missed chance to conceive a real plan to improve public services for local government”.

Freitas suggests that instead of the planned parish council reorganisation programme, a regionalisation process should be launched, as part of a new concept of “inter-municipal cooperation” – the new parish council reformation programme means “starting it from the end”, he says.

To Freitas, who voted against the reform of the local administration, the programme won’t increase efficiency or reduce costs, but the opposite will happen.

The main points of the programme, however, could be achieved by decentralising the government.

Using the Algarve as an example, where 17 parishes will be removed over 16 municipalities, Freitas claims that managing the programme using unrealistic criteria has resulted in “pressure”. Nationwide, over 2,000 jobs could be lost as a result, with “all the warnings and cryouts made by parish councils and the population” being ignored by the government.

Freitas also regrets that historical and cultural aspects have not been taken into account when integrating parishes, as well as their anthropological identity.

Also read ‘Parish councils fight closure’ in the November 16, 2012 edition.