Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Ceisteanna (551)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

551. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of preparations for the establishment of the office and elections for the position of directly elected mayor of Limerick City and County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38530/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The people of Limerick City and County decided in a plebiscite held on 24 May 2019 to support the Government's proposals for a directly elected mayor with executive functions for their Council area. Work is now well underway on the necessary preparatory work to deliver on the will of the people of Limerick.

Under Section 44 of the Local Government Act 2019, the Minister is required to prepare and submit to the Houses of the Oireachtas a report with legislative proposals for a directly elected mayor for Limerick, within two years of the plebiscite vote, i.e. 24 May 2021. However, my Department is prioritising this work with a view to bringing the report and legislative proposals forward at the earliest opportunity, targeting an election for directly elected mayor of Limerick City and County Council in 2021.

There is now significant work underway within my Department to analyse systematically all legislation under the Department's responsibility conferring functions and powers on local authority chief executives. A similar exercise has also commenced within other Government Departments. An inter-Departmental working group has been established and met earlier this month to advance the project.

As part of the process, I also intend to establish an implementation advisory group, comprising representatives of the key stakeholders in Limerick, particularly the elected Council and management of Limerick City and County Council, to advise on the implementation of the mandate given by the people of Limerick. I expect this Group will meet for the first time in the second half of October.