Fine Gael MEP for Dublin Brian Hayes said that the Government needs to support proposals by Opposition parties to have a directly elected Lord Mayor for Dublin, and that Dubliners must be given their opportunity to decide on how the city is governed.
The MEP’s comments come ahead of a long-awaited review of local government, which is due to be given to the Minister for State for Local Government, John Paul Phelan TD, this month.
“The Government has provisionally earmarked October 2018 as the date for plebiscites, where the electorate of each city and council area will decide if they want their mayor to be elected. The notion of four mayors governing all of Dublin is a nonsense though.
“Each of the four local authorities in Dublin establishes their own policies, despite some attempt to work together in some key areas. However, some have additional responsibilities – for example, Dublin City Council manages the fire service for all four authorities. While each Council collaborates on certain issues, there is no effective political leadership and this needs to be put in place.
“If this latest report suggests a mayor for each of the local authorities, we are back to square one. One Mayor for all of Dublin would provide proper leadership on issues of huge importance to Dubliners – traffic, transport, planning and tourism.
“But a directly elected Mayor must have executive powers, which means central Government transferring powers to the office of the Dublin Mayor and a specific Dublin Regional budget provided.
“Of the 27 EU capitals, 23 have directly elected Lord Mayors. With the challenges of Brexit, Dublin needs to step up and compete on the international stage – establishing a clear line of authority for Dublin is crucial for us at this point and needs to happen without further delays.”