Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (387)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

387. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a detailed breakdown of all costs to date and projected, arising out of the recent amalgamation of local authorities in the State, including staff severance packages. [24266/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

On 1 June 2014 the reform of local government structures, provided for in the Local Government Reform Act 2014, came into effect. As such, on that date, the town councils were dissolved and their functions, staff etc. integrated into the county council and the mergers of local authorities in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford took effect.

In terms of the costs of replacing town councils by the national system of municipal districts, the main costs arising are in respect of gratuities payable to councillors who cease to be members of local authorities, subject to certain conditions as prescribed by Section 142 of the Local Government Act 2001 and the Local Authority Members (Gratuity) Regulations 2002 to 2006. It will take some time, based on the recent results of the local elections, to determine the cost of such gratuities. However, estimates prepared in advance of the election suggest that the net additional cost of gratuities payable to Town Councillors who did not run for election or failed to get elected to County and City and County Councils would amount to €4.6 million.  The reduced number of councillors will ensure that this once-off additional expenditure will be offset by future savings on gratuities.