Dublin mayor must be given more power and resources, citizens’ assembly hears

A directly elected mayor for Dublin should have enough power to see through major projects, the citizens’ assembly heard.

Likewise, central government must be prepared to delegate more power to local government, potentially over housing and transport, the assembly said at a meeting on Sunday.

The Dublin Citizens’ Assembly was convened to review local government structures and decide what type of directly elected mayor would best suit the area. By October they will prepare a draft report for consideration by the Oireachtas.

UCC’s Dr Aodh Quinlivan said central government will need a change of mindset to enable a successful mayor. “A directly elected mayor for Dublin will be of limited value unless that person has the power and resources to implement decisions.”

Local authorities could be entrusted with more decentralized competences, such as housing and transport.

“The central government must be ready to loosen its grip and let go.”

A broader debate on the role of local government and the job description of councilors should be considered, he added.

According to research by the Association of Irish Local Government, typical councilors currently work 30 hours a week, even though it’s supposed to be a part-time job. “They hold clinics, engage in local constituency work, they must be aware of local government issues, but in truth they are probably also social workers, psychologists, there can be a huge toll emotional about what they do…they are constantly fighting fires.

Public management consultant Dr Sean O’Riordain said foreign companies doing business in Ireland for the first time are surprised to have to meet the chief executive of the council (an unelected official), rather than a mayor directly elected, as is the case with the European Union. standard.

He indicated that this regional assembly could also be responsible for long-term planning.

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