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Efficiency focus over councils is misplaced

The debate on changing the 26 council areas to fewer, larger councils (12 or 15) has focused on efficiency and jobs.

However, when there are lay-offs, they are justified by the need for efficiency cuts and efficiency savings.

Efficiency is the maximising of outputs in the minimum time with the minimum expenditure of money in the process.

Council areas are where people live, carry out their civic duties and create their cultures. Do we relate to each other with a culture of maximising outputs in the minimum time with the minimum expenditure of labour and finance?

Councils are currently unsustainable and so will always need to increase rates until the ratepayer is bankrupt, or the infrastructure is changed to low-cost, no-waste sustainability.

Alternatively, increasing the number of council areas would result in people living in smaller administrative areas. There will be a clearer sense of belonging, townland pride and responsibility and reduced distances would lower running costs.

Efficiency is about controls and authority over people trying to earn a living, especially small businesses, which are bedevilled by rates, insurance and inflexible health and safety that is more concerned about litigation than getting the job done.

In Switzerland, constituents vote on the political issues that intimately affect their lives and their home areas. Democracy is 'a system of government run by the people in sprit of equality' (dictionary definition).

PHILLIP ALLEN

Belfast

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