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Wednesday 20.03.2019 | Name days: Made, Irbe
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Environment ministry sees no reason to change Law on Local Governments

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOpposite to the opinion of multiple Latvian municipalities, Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry believes no amendments are needed for the Law on Local Governments, as noted by the institution’s parliamentary secretary Jānis Eglīts.

«We believe the law already clearly tells what is and what isn’t allowed to do. If municipalities have any proposals for improvements, they can submit them to Saeima’s committees or other institutions. The ministry sees no reason for any significant changes,» said Eglīts.

In the last couple of months Latvian municipalities have voiced the opinion that the Law on Local Governments is too broad and lacks clarity, and that the ministry limits the work performed by local governments too much using it. Latvian Large Cities Association has announced plans to prepare and submit to Saeima amendments to the aforementioned law in order to clearly define the rights of local governments to amend their internal order rules.

Ķekava municipality has announced the same initiative. To exclude in the future the possibility of different interpretations of the Law on Local Governments, this municipality plans turning to Latvian Association of Local Governments with a request to urge the Saeima to change the law. The ministry and municipalities cannot seem to agree on the recently added changes to compositions of local committees. The municipality believes it acted responsibly and in accordance with the law. The ministry, on the other hand, believes it was against regulations.

The county council believes part two of Section 55 covers only one of the cases when a deputy can cease their work in a particular committee – once the council has received a signed request for dismissal. However, the lack of such an application does not deny the council the right to exercise its exclusive competence – elect or dismiss committee members in accordance with Article 10 of part two of Section 21 of the Law on Local Governments.

In the last couple of months, Environment Minister Kaspars Gerhards has issued several orders to restrict the work performed by municipalities. The ministry issued an order in March to cancel Riga City Council’s new internal rules that were found to limit deputies’ rights. In April the ministry issued another order – this time for Rezekne municipality. On 8 May, Gerhards ordered Ķekava County Council to halt its performed changes to composition of its committees.


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