Thursday, 4 November 2004

Questions (202)

Michael Ring

Question:

199 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will appoint a commission to examine local election boundaries in order, in particular, to take account of the major shifts in population to urban areas. [27598/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

The Local Government Act 2001 provides for the establishment of a Local Government Commission to carry out functions regardinginter alia, the alteration of local electoral areas. Under section 23 of the Act the Minister may, by order, divide local authorities into local electoral areas and fix the number of members to be elected for each electoral area but this may only be done following a report by the local government commission. It is intended to commence the relevant provisions of the 2001 Act, including arrangements for the establishment of the local government commission, as soon as possible.

The June 2004 local elections took place on the basis of the existing local electoral boundaries and there are currently no proposals for examination of these boundaries. Unlike the situation regarding Dáil constituencies, there are no constitutional or statutory requirements for the frequency of local electoral area reviews.