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Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 551 No. 3

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 197. Dr. Upton   asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  further to Parliamentary Question No. 151 of 6 December 2001, when members of the public can attend meetings of a committee of a local authority; and his views on a reply given by a local authority (details supplied). [10645/02]

Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey I have recently made a commencement order which will bring into operation section 45 of the Local Government Act, 2001. This provides, for the first time, a statutory right of public access to meetings of a local authority, subject to a restricted right of councils to meet “in committee”.

In addition, I have made regulations which permit public access as of right, also for the first time, to meetings of local authority committees, subject to certain exclusions.

As indicated in replies to earlier questions, it is necessary for local authorities to have in place new standing orders to coincide with the coming into operation of these and other provisions of the new Local Government Act. Notes incorporating suggested standing orders have been issued to local authorities for assistance in relation to the commencement of these provisions.

To allow time for elected councils to prepare for these changes and accept new standing orders, the time schedule for commencing the new provisions has been extended somewhat to 17 July 2002, which is fixed as the operative date by the commencement order already referred to. I have arranged for a copy of the relevant circular and accompanying documentation already issued to local authorities by my Department to be forwarded to the Deputy.


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