The implementation of local government reform is at an advanced stage and will be complete by the July 1 deadline, Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Tuesday.

Speaking in Paralimni, the minister said that his ministry has so far completed meetings with the district administrations of Nicosia and Limassol, with more scheduled with Paralimni, Ayia Napa and Larnaca.

The goal, he said, “is through these contacts to identify if there is anything pending, any problem that we can resolve and at first glance I see that we are on a very good track in terms of building facilities”.

He added that he will also be informed on any other issues including personnel and relocation.

On the meetings already had in Nicosia and Limassol, Ioannou said that “in general we are on the right track, but what we keep saying is that this is a huge reform; we are changing attitudes, with three different bodies coming together, with transfers taking place within the town planning department, the district offices and municipalities”.

He also noted that time will be needed until the situation is normalised, as in any reform.

“We expect there will be difficulties,” he said, and noted that “the will is there, we are here with the will to solve all issues for the benefit of the public”.

He said the big problem a year ago was the issue of infrastructure, pointing out that there has been some progress and congratulating the district’s cooperation with his ministry.

On the local plan for Paralimni, Ioannou said it was an issue that has been pending for may years due to objections that had been made, and had to be redrawn.

“We had promised that it would be published again by the middle of 2024,” he said, adding that the previous day he had been briefed on the new plan and approved it.

“It will be published in the official government gazette before the end of the month,” he said, noting that there will be a four-month window for objections before it moves into implementation, so the public will know about it.