Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (84)

Seamus Kirk


84. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the timeframe for the implementation of Putting People First; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12682/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Action Programme for Effective Local Government, Putting People First, which was published in October 2012, following Government approval, sets out Government decisions on a range of measures relating to the reform and development of local government structures, functions, funding, governance and operational matters. Implementation of the Action Programme is a high priority for Government as a key element of the overall reform agenda. This involves a substantial body of legal and other work to ensure that the necessary measures are in place ahead of the 2014 local elections.

In order to meet that timeframe, work has been advancing quickly in a number of areas including in relation to local authority mergers in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford; an independent review of local electoral areas by a statutory committee; integration of local micro-enterprise support service with local government through Local Enterprise Offices; the introduction of the local property tax to replace the household charge; continuing implementation of Local Government Efficiency Review measures, a Workforce Planning process, and implementation of the Steering Group report on the alignment of local/community development with local government.

Comprehensive, wide-ranging and detailed legislation will be required to provide for the range of measures in the reform programme, and I am firmly committed to ensuring that it will be brought forward for enactment in good time before the 2014 local elections.