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Friday, July 19, 2024

Provision for an increase of up to 14% in water tariffs was removed

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Today the Committee of the Interior completed the discussion of the bill on Municipalities and the Regulation of Roads and Buildings, so that these to be voted on by the Plenary on June 20.

As the President of the Committee Aristos Damianou stated, at today's meeting the MPs decided to eliminate the provision for increases of up to 14% in water tariffs. Also, the Provincial Self-Governing Organizations decided to assume responsibility for dangerous buildings from October 1st, so that they have time to staff appropriately.

Mr. Damianou also said that the Commission will ex officio examine the issue of the adequacy of means, personnel and equipment for the prevention and extinguishing of fires at its next meeting after the last devastating fires in Paphos District.

In his statements on the issue of Local Government reform, he said that the Committee will return from next September to examine some issues arising from the legislation, while it will monitor its implementation at regular intervals, so that any problems can be resolved.

Mr. Damianou explained that, following yesterday's demand from the Commission during the meeting on the same issue, the government returned to the issue of increasing tariffs and during the discussion it was decided to delete the provision that existed for the possibility of an increase of up to 14% in the pricing policy in relation to water.

Besides, the MPs had reacted since yesterday to the possibility of increases for the residents. Mr. Damianou also underlined today, in response to questions from journalists, that “the obligation of the new local authorities, in the context of the effort to assimilate and rationalize the tariff policy, is to find the averages of the tariff policies and assimilate them, so that they do not increase in some cases and to be reduced in others, but in a way to have a fairer distribution of the burden of pricing”.

When asked if there will be a corresponding regulation on the issue of dogs, Mr. Damianou said that this is a matter handled by the Environment Committee. “Our unanimous position is that the reform should not entail an increase in fees and, if there is a need for a fee increase, it should be done in consultation with the central state, so that the state subsidizes the local government and not pays the bride the citizen”, he underlined.

As far as dangerous buildings are concerned, the Commission decided to leave the responsibility for the municipalities, until September 30th. “Given the fact that the new EOAs will not be able from the first of July to manage these very sensitive and important issues of citizens' safety, we have decided to postpone to October 1 the assumption of responsibility for dangerous buildings by the District Organizations”, said Mr. Damianou.

The newly elected Mayor of East Limassol, Kyriakos Xydias, representing the Union of Municipalities at the Commission meeting, underlined that it is important not to leave the issue of dangerous buildings pending. He noted, however, that since a decision has been made to move Municipal staff to the EOAs, the corresponding responsibilities should also be transferred.

However, in his statements Mr. Damianou expressed his satisfaction “for the fact that within a very narrow time frame we have managed as the Interior Committee to pass the four amending bills concerning the reform of local self-government”.

DISY Member of Parliament, Nikos Sykas, stated in his statements that the debate on the bills was completed, although he pointed out that they were presented late by the government. He also noted that the Commission will monitor the progress of the entire reform every three months. local government reform is a social and economic need, which we will follow for the benefit of the citizens”, he concluded and thanked those who were elected to local government positions in the last elections.

The Member of Parliament of DIPA, Marinos Mousioutas, stated in his statements that the issues examined by the Committee in the last two days, “are elements related to the functionality of the new local government organizations, such as issues related to banks, issues related to personnel, issues concerning dangerous buildings, as well as other procedural issues”.

“Fortunately, there was unanimity in the Committee so that the issues could proceed and be raised on Thursday in the Plenary”, noted Mr. Musiouttas, who wished that “the climate that prevailed in the Committee both yesterday and today, will continue to exist in the future, so that voting next Thursday”.

Sufficiency of fire-fighting means in the Committee of the Interior
The question of the adequacy of means, personnel and equipment for the prevention and extinguishing of fires will be considered at its next meeting by the Committee, after and the last devastating fires in Paphos District. As the President of the Commission, Aristos Damianou, said in his remarks, all the competent bodies will be called on the issue. to respond to them adequately”, he said and added that “unfortunately the developments do not document that there is an adequacy and that is why we want to call all the competent bodies to finally tell us what the real picture is, because what we are experiencing is the disastrous and sad, because what is burning is our homeland”.

Source: 24h.com.cy

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