Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1515)

Micheál Martin

Question:

1515. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will report on the upcoming plebiscite on the mayoral elections. [19820/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

On 24 May 2019, the electors of the administrative areas of Cork City, Limerick City and County and Waterford City and County Councils will have an opportunity to vote in a plebiscite on the Government’s proposal for a Mayor, or Lord Mayor in the case of Cork City, with executive functions to be directly elected by the people.

The Local Government Act 2019 provides the statutory basis for the holding of the plebiscites. Under the Act, if the proposal, details of which are available at this link is approved by a majority of voters, in any of the three areas, the Minister, within 2 years, must prepare and submit to each House of the Oireachtas a report specifying proposals for the enactment of a law providing for a directly elected mayor of the administrative area in respect of which the plebiscite was held. The Oireachtas will then consider the legislation and once the required legislation is passed, an election for Mayor/Lord Mayor with executive functions will take place for the area concerned.

In order to facilitate and oversee the provision of impartial and factual information to the electorates in the three areas concerned, regarding the plebiscites, an independent Committee was established, chaired by Henry Abbott, retired High Court judge, and including representatives from the three local authorities concerned, my Department and the Local Government Management Agency, and an independent legal advisor.

The Committee’s public information campaign is well underway in each local authority area across a range of platforms. In this regard, media briefings were held in each area; advertisements have been placed in local and national newspapers, on local radio and on social media; posters are being displayed in public offices in the three areas, and a guide for voters is currently being distributed to every household in the three areas and is available in public offices.  Furthermore, public information meetings, chaired by the Committee Chairman, will take place on the following dates:

- Tuesday 14 May 2019 (19.30) - Cork City Council

- Wednesday 15 May 2019 (19.30) - Waterford City and County Council

- Thursday 16 May 2019 (19.30) - Limerick City and County Council

The Committee’s information for voters is also available on the website www.mayors.gov.ie.