MPs at the House interior committee decided on Wednesday to reconvene in an extraordinary session on Thursday, supposedly to give local authorities and the interior ministry a day to hash out some details in local governance reforms.

Some of the issues where the local authorities and the ministry still need to converge concern waste management, an auditing officer for municipalities, dealing with dangerous buildings and the responsibility for the construction and maintenance of road works.

At the end of Wednesday’s session, the head of the committee Akel MP Aristos Damianou said in March 2022, the bill on local government reform was passed, and since then several reforms have been expected.

He added that reforms have been slow to arrive in parliament for a vote and have been delayed.

As such, he explained, parliament passed the reforms, just as a new batch of reforms came in, which were also passed.

He said that during Wednesday’s session for a third time loose ends were discussed in the reform measures.

“I must for the umpteenth time express our dismay at the delay, partly understandable, in tabling implementation bills,” he said.

During the session, permanent secretary of the interior ministry Ellikos Ilias stated that it is a fact that there was a delay, adding that “as a ministry we are doing everything possible so that the reform of local government can start on July 1.”

Damianou said that two of the four implementing bills have been discussed, leaving the communities law and the district governance law which will be discussed on Thursday at a second extraordinary meeting of the interior committee.

“I must say that basically there is a consensus that the proposed regulations should be pushed forward,” Damianou said.

“A number of issues that were contentious have been left to be reviewed next September.”

Damianou said: “Our intention is that on June 20 all four bills along with some of our other proposals will be submitted to the plenum, so that on July 1 the new state of affairs can function as smoothly as possible.”