Govt To Conduct Review On Role Of Local Authority Members

The government has commissioned Ms Sara Moorhead SC to carry out a review on the role of elected members of local authorities.

Along with the roles, the review will also consider the remuneration and other supports provided to assist councillors in carrying out their duties.

Mr John Paul Phelan, Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, is commissioning the review.

He said: "The review will produce an interim report within five months of the commencement of its work, with the timing of a final report to be considered thereafter. When the review is completed, its findings will be the subject of discussion between the Departments of Housing, Planning and Local Government and Public Expenditure and Reform. It will be submitted thereafter for the consideration of the Government."

Minister Phelan added: "Effective local government structures are essential for our democracy. From my own experience in local government, I believe councillors are sincere, hard-working and give much of their own time in engaging with and contributing to their local communities. It is important that the role of councillors is clearly understood. Following the implementation of the local government reforms, in June 2014, councillors now have a broader portfolio of functions than before. It is only justifiable that they receive the necessary supports to allow them to fulfil their role as public representatives, in particular with regard to the carrying out of the functions assigned to them."

The review will be informed by input from the Departments of Housing, Planning and Local Government and Public Expenditure and Reform. There will be consultation with elected members and their representative organisations (the Association of Irish Local Government (AILG) and Local Authority Members Association (LAMA)), County and City Management Association (CCMA) and wider consultation as appropriate.

"I want to encourage and support a high calibre of elected councils across the country with a capacity to utilise their powers as effectively as possible for the benefit of local communities. This requires that the remuneration for individual councillors is fit for purpose, operates to the highest ethical standards and is fully transparent. I have full confidence in Ms. Sara Moorhead to undertake the review of the role and remuneration of councillors in a fair and impartial manner while also taking account of the views of councillors themselves," Mr Phelan concluded.


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