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Written Answers - Local Government Reform

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 755 No. 1

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 144.  Deputy Joanna Tuffy Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if he will give details of his plans to reform local government through the abolition of town councils, a reduction in the number of county councils and a cut in the number of councillors; if he will give further details of the consultations that he has had or plans to have with elected representatives, the public and other stakeholders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7496/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan The Programme for Government includes a commitment to a fundamental reorganisation of local government structures. Decisions have already been taken to merge the city/county councils in Limerick and Tipperary and implementation work is proceeding in both cases. The main objective is to bring about stronger, more cohesive local government, with greater capacity to address challenges, maximise efficiency and promote economic and social development. I have also established a Local Government Committee to consider whether Waterford City and County Councils should be unified.

Building on these early actions, I intend to bring wider policy proposals to Government in the near future for an action programme on local government, with particular attention being given to strengthening local government structures generally at regional, county and sub-county levels and expanding the role of local government. This will include proposals in relation to municipal governance within counties.

The reform programme will also reflect work under way in relation to alignment of local and community development with local government, efficiency implementation and development of a system of local government funding which is fair, stable and effective and brings greater local responsibility in relation to financial matters. The programme will, in addition, broadly map out further aspects of the local government system on which reform proposals will be considered, including a range of governance matters such as ethics, local political and executive leadership and the balance between elected members and the executive in the performance of functions. I will engage with stakeholders when proposals are developed.

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