Thursday, 27 February 2014

Dublin Directly Elected Mayor

Dublin City Councillors met yesterday evening in the Mansion House to discuss the proposal for a Directly Elected Mayor for Dublin. At the meeting they were advised that Minister Hogan will give feedback on their proposal for a Directly Elected Mayor for Dublin and his wording for a plebescite sometime after March 11th and before March 31st.

Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick, Dublin Candidate for the European Parliament and leader of the Fianna Fail Group on Dublin City Council, is a long standing supporter of local government reform and a Directly Elected Mayor for Dublin. Speaking after the meeting Mary Fitzpatrick said “A directly elected Lord Mayor could make a real difference for Dublin however now it looks like the plebiscite is in real jeopardy and might not even be held. It is completely unacceptable that the Minister is on the one hand insisting that Councillors on the four Dublin Local Authorities hold a meeting and vote on whether or not to put the Minister’s proposal to the people of Dublin before March 31st yet the Minister has not provided City and County Councillors with his wording to allow them consider and debate it.”

Last year the Minister announced that he would allow the people of Dublin to decide on whether or not they want a Directly Elected Mayor. He introduced legislation that required City and County Councillors from the four Dublin Local Authorities to work together to produce a joint report outlining a possible framework for a Directly Elected Mayor for the Minister to consider. This report was submitted to the Minister in December 2013 and he will decide on the final wording for a plebiscite. The Minister’s legislation requires the four Dublin Local Authorities to then vote before March 31st 2014 on whether or not to put the Minister’s wording to the people of Dublin in a plebescite this May.

The Minister is denying councilors and the public the opportunity to debate his proposal by failing to outline the powers and authority he will give to the office.

There is a real risk if the Minister does not give Councillors sufficient time to consider his response to our proposal there will be no referendum on this issue in May and the people of Dublin will be denied their say. This will truly be a missed opportunity for Dublin as surveys show that there is strong support from the general public for a Directly Elected Mayor for Dublin

A Directly Elected Executive Mayor could provide real and accountable political leadership for the people of Dublin. This would not only be good for residents and employers in Dublin but it would also greatly enhance Dublin’s ability to compete Internationally.

I call on the Minister to stop sitting on the report and to immediately advise councillors on all four Dublin Local Authorities of his intentions with regards to his proposal for a Directly Elected Mayor for Dublin.  Mary