Capability of amalgamated hromadas (AH) is not always determined by the money. First of all, the AH life is determined by people, said Ruslan Panasyuk, head of the Ivano-Frankivsk Local Government Development Centre, to Ukrinform, while assessing the debates "Why should hromadas amalgamate". The event was organised by the Swiss-Ukrainian project "Decentralisation Support in Ukraine" (DESPRO), with the support of the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast State Administration and Ivano-Frankivsk Local Government Development Centre, established with the support of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme and MinRegion.
"The trend for discussion is that decentralisation is needed, it is supported, but not everyone is well aware of it. The viewpoint of the decentralisation opponents is that everything is bad, but they do not dare to take a different look, to change the situation for the better. Definitely, the opinions of those "for" the AH establishment were more persuasive for me. I support the position that capability of amalgamated hromadas is not always determined by the money, but, above all, by the people, who will shape the life and future of these hromadas. I do not agree that we did not need a stage of voluntary amalgamation. Why? Because it is difficult to live with coercion in the new environment. When hromadas decide to amalgamate, they are more prepared for the challenges that arise," noted Ruslan Panasyuk.
During the debates, the leaders of the Prykarpattya rayons with no AHs established expressed their stance. Thus, Roman Hrynyshynб head of the Rohatyn Rayon Council, claims that the village councils in the rayon are not amalgamating simply because they do not understand whether roads will be repaired or whether the land outside settlements would be given to them, and the main thing they are worried about is the need to close schools.
"There may be lots of scary stories told. But in order to change the life we have had for 25 years and which none of us liked, we need to take the plunge for a change. We should move in order to overcome the distance." says Anatoliy Kulyk, chairman of Baykovetska AH in the Ternopil Oblast.
He is clearly supported by Olexandra Sheremetyeva, head of the Omelnytska AH, who became the AH head after more than 10 years of rayon management work in the Poltava Oblast.
There are 23 AHs in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, of which 22 are rural and settlement amalgamated hromadas and 1 is an urban AH.
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