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Local government needs to be reformed before the Local Elections of 2009

category mayo | politics / elections | opinion/analysis author Monday August 21, 2006 15:23author by Cllr Keith Martin - Westport Town Council Report this post to the editors

Councils in danger of becoming irrelevant in 21st Century

We need to dump the officials and bring councillors into power in local government

It is imperative that Local Government in Ireland is reformed immediately. Our current system is so beset by bureaucracy, officialdom, government interference and lack of democracy that is in grave danger of becoming irrelevant in the 21st century.

Currently our local government system is overridden by powerful career bureaucrats with little day to day imput from elected representatives. While councillors are supposed to set policy for the council the list of powers at the disposal of councillors makes up about a page of paper. The powers of officials are detailed under the Local Government Acts as all other powers not listed for councillors. This is an outrageous situation.

In no democratic system in the world would such powers be handed over to unelected and unaccountable officials. Local government employees are not responsible to councillors or open to censure by councillors. Instead they answer to the County Manager who answers to the Minister for Local Government.

Better Local Government, the last reform programme of the local government system, was a farce which removed even more powers from councillors under the guise of improving democracy. Instead of Directly Elected Mayors and empowered councillors we were saddled with SPC talking shops and even more levels of bureaucracy.

In this dynamic new world economy we need strong local government to act in our best interests, we need a strong voice to make ourselves heard in Dublin and Strasbourg and strong local leadership to fight for our needs at local, national and even international level.

Related Link: http://www.votekeithmartin.com

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Directly Elected Mayors for all     Cllr Keith Martin    Mon Aug 21, 2006 15:18 
   Democratically Wasting Our Time     Seán Ryan    Wed Aug 23, 2006 03:26 
   Article 28A.1 of Constitution     W. Finnerty.    Wed Aug 23, 2006 08:40 
   Reasons for directly elected mayors     Cllr Keith Martin    Wed Aug 23, 2006 13:29 
   very well for you Keith "in favour" of directly elected mayors since you're not directly elected.     municipal & rural sniggering    Wed Aug 23, 2006 23:43 
   Directly elected     Cllr Keith Martin    Thu Aug 24, 2006 02:09 
   democracy's decline     maire    Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:02 
   Councillors zone land     Cllr Keith Martin    Mon Nov 13, 2006 16:09 
   What does democracy mean?     Kevin Blood    Tue Nov 14, 2006 16:42 


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