Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Ceisteanna (42, 47)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

42. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a plebiscite for the election of directly elected mayors in Dublin, Cork and other cities will take place; and the timeline for a decision in this regard. [26873/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

47. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the concept of directly elected mayors will be rolled out for the 2019 local elections; the number of local authorities that will be selected for participation in such elections; and if the scope of powers for directly elected mayors has been determined. [26870/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 47 together.

The Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to consider directly elected mayors in cities as part of a broader range of local government reform measures aimed at strengthening local democracy. In response to this commitment, work on a policy report on directly elected mayors for cities is at an advanced stage of preparation in my  Department. I expect to be in a position to have this report submitted to Government in the coming weeks, and subject to Government approval, the intention is that the report would then be forwarded to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government for consideration.

The report will examine the range of functions which might be assigned to directly elected mayors, the cities in which they could be established, and governance arrangements underpinning the role. While the policy on directly elected mayors is still at development stage, I intend that provision for plebiscites will be included in the Local Government Bill 2018. The General Scheme of that Bill was approved by the Government on 6 June 2018 and it is currently being drafted with a view to its publication as soon as possible.