The enactment of by-laws in relation to the creation of taxi ranks is a matter reserved to the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for the Environment and Local Government, and I have no direct function in the matter. The approval of the Attorney General is also required. However, I have made inquiries of the Garda Commissioner into the progress on the making of appointed stands (street service vehicles by-laws) in the areas referred to by the Deputy.
With regard to Athlone, I have been informed by the Garda authorities that the Commissioner, in accordance with agreed procedures, forwarded a copy of the draft by-laws to the Department of the Environment and Local Government in November, 1997 for their observations, prior to submitting them to the Attorney General for his approval.
I understand that following a number of amendments, recommended by the Department of the Environment and Local Government, the Garda authorities are amending the appointed stands in consultation with Westmeath County Council.
I also understand that the question of making Appointed Stands By-laws for Mullingar is being taken up with Westmeath County Council by the divisional officer at Mullingar.