Expatica news

Olhão Council to take over local healthcare, policing and education

olhaoCentreOlhão council intends to adopt all the new powers that the Government is handing to municipalities in its decentralisation programme.

The mayor of Olhão’s council says he is prepared “to assume in full, this year, the new tasks outlined in the framework on transferring powers to local authorities and inter-municipal entities.”

This new law was approved in August 2018, and the relevant diplomas were approved by the Council of Ministers in September and October last year. The law allows Councils to take over responsibilities in areas such as health, education, culture, civil protection and local policing, among others.

Some areas were considered controversial, most obviously ‘healthcare’ as Councils will become responsible for the maintenance and equipment at local Health Centres.

Local schools, including secondary schools, are to move to the municipalities, but only if Concils want to manage them.

More recently, areas including justice, policing, animal health, food safety, public communication, real estate, parking and fines for minor motoring infractions have been added to the list of devolved powers that council can adopt if they so wish.

Olhão’s mayor, António Pina, said that although the assignment of powers is extensive, Olhão does not show any fear in assuming all of them by the autumn of 2021.

Pina considers that this new reality, “represents a positive leap in the effectiveness of local management and local services.”

António Pina believes that the devolution, “provides local government structures with more autonomy, which allows for a more effective management of resources, both human and property, in a logic of governance that is ever closer to the population whose needs are at a local level.”

“Any step towards intelligent and effective decentralisation is always positive, since it gives decision-making and resource management power to those who work more closely with people and know the reality of the territory at the local level,” said the mayor of Olhão.