City of Lisbon signs contracts with parish councils worth 50 million euros until 2025

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Lisbon City Council today signed inter-administrative contracts for the delegation of powers and cooperation with the city’s 24 parish councils, with a transfer of 50 million euros up to 2025, for the implementation of 389 interventions.

The renovation of public spaces, investment in parks and gardens, the upgrading of markets and cultural facilities, the development of projects in schools and the construction of new sports facilities are just some of the interventions provided for in the delegation of powers contracts (CDC).

The interventions are based on five programmatic axes, in line with the municipality’s strategic objectives, “for a closer, sustainable, dynamic, supportive and healthy city”.

At the contract-signing ceremony, held in Paços do Concelho, Lisbon mayor Carlos Moedas (PSD) emphasized the “equal” relationship with the 24 parish council presidents, independent of political parties, stating that the commitment made is one of “proximity, ambition and trust”, with the mission of “serving the public interest together”.

“The reason that brings us together here today is a very clear strategic option: decentralized municipal government, for a city closer to the people, an option that has as its main representative this institutional and loyal cooperation between us”, said the social democrat, praising the effectiveness and efficiency of cooperative work with parish councils, which have an intervention closer to the territory.

Carlos Moedas declared that a “wide range of small and medium-sized investments are planned, with a real, concrete and significant impact on the lives of all Lisboans” and stressed that the “CDC is truly a contract of trust”.

The CDC proposal provides for the transfer of an overall value of 50 million euros (ME), between 2023 and 2025, for Lisbon’s 24 parish councils, 13 of which are presided over by the PS, which will receive a total of 23.4 ME, 10 are PSD/CDS-PP, which will receive 24.9 ME, and one is governed by the PCP (Carnide), which will receive 1.6 ME.

The parishes receiving a higher amount are Arroios (CDS-PP), with 3.59 ME, Lumiar (PSD), with 3.57 ME, Benfica (PS), with 3.18 ME, and Alvalade (PSD), with 3.04 ME, according to the council’s proposal, indicating that those receiving less are Misericórdia (PS) and São Vicente (PS), both with one million euros.

The criteria for distributing the overall sum of 50 million euros among the 24 parishes took into account the size of the population (70%) and the execution of previous contracts (30%), which represents 70%, plus 30% for the evaluation of the interventions proposed by the councils.

The councillor responsible for relations with the parish councils, Diogo Moura (CDS-PP), emphasized the process of “transparent dialogue”, for a response “closer to the people of Lisbon, their needs and expectations”.

The sum of 50 ME is divided between the five areas of intervention, namely 22.6 ME for local territories; 7.8 ME for sustainable territories; 7.5 ME for dynamic territories; 6.2 ME for territories of solidarity; and 5.9 ME for healthy territories.

At the ceremony, the four political forces that preside over Lisbon’s parish councils – PS, PSD, CDS-PP and PCP – spoke about the contracts signed with the city council, with Socialist Davide Amado defending the need to deepen Lisbon’s administrative reform, approved in 2012, with the appropriate updating of the funds to be allocated to the councils, equivalent to the transfer of new competences.

“Estamos prontos para uma reforma 2.0 para aprofundar o quadro de competências próprias das juntas de freguesia, eliminando as esquizofrenias da primeira reforma, assegurando a continuidade territorial da manutenção do espaço público, bem como a continuidade operacional das competências de gestão do território”, acrescentou Luís Newton, do PSD.

Madalena Natividade, do CDS-PP, realçou a capacidade das juntas de freguesia de “resolver as preocupações de primeiro grau, os anseios mais imediatos e as necessidades mais prementes”, enquanto Fábio Sousa, do PCP, partido que é contra a transferência de competências, afirmou que “os presidentes de junta serão sempre parte da solução e nunca do problema” e sugeriu que sejam estabilizadas as verbas dos CDC complementares.

Madalena Natividade, of the CDS-PP, emphasized the ability of parish councils to “solve first-degree problems, the most immediate problems and the most urgent needs”, while Fábio Sousa, of the PCP, a party that opposes the transfer of powers, said that “mayors will always be part of the solution and never part of the problem” and suggested that funds for complementary CDCs be stabilized.

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