Statement by Councillor Dermot Lacey
Labour Party – Pembroke/Rathmines
28th September 2010
The report tonight of the pending publication of the Draft Legislation on proposals for a Dublin Mayor and a restructured Dublin Regional Authority by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government represent a welcome step forward in this debate.
Despite the fact that they remain just proposals, there is a real need now to move the debate forward beyond the issue of expenses, the Mansion House and all of what we might call “the fripperies” accompanying the present post of Lord Mayor. I have already called for the proposed salary to be at least halved.
I have campaigned for the creation of this post now for many years. With the publication of the Draft Legislation I call on any of those considering contesting for this position to debate the issues facing our County. Let us all play a part in shaping the legislation as well as seeking to implement it.
I want to see an Executive Mayor for Dublin. In that respect I am not convinced that the merging of the historic role of Lord Mayor of Dublin with that of the new Mayor is the best way forward. I look forward to teasing that issue out over the next period of time.
There is now recognition that our current system of Local Government requires renewal and reform. The pity is that the debate did not occur prior to the Local Elections. Let us not make the same mistake again and proceed now with real reforms and real proposals.
While the detail of any reform is extensive, the essentials are not. If it is to be in any way meaningful reform must include:
- An Independent source of funding for Local Authorities and not subject to the whims of the Department of the Environment.
- Reform of the City and County Managers Act creating a new post of Chief Executive Officer – accountable to the relevant Local Authority and recruited by the Public Appointments Commission.
- A directly elected Mayor of Dublin with a five year term and accountable to an enhanced Dublin Regional Authority.
- Extending the role of the Dublin Regional Authority to include Transport and Planning and subsuming bodies such as the Dublin Transport Authority and the Affordable Housing Partnership.
- Real controls and limitations on electoral spending at local elections and an ethical framework that is robust and just.
Local Government is best placed to deliver real reform if let. It is time to stand up for better Local Government and long past time to “Stand up for Dublin”. I am ready to play my part.
For further Information: Dermot Lacey