Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government

Local Government Performance Indicators and Public Spending Code: National Oversight and Audit Commission

Mr. Michael McCarthy:

We have not as yet directly engaged on that particular topic but it is something of which I am very mindful. Even the role of the former member of the UDC or the town commission or the town council was quite voluminous. From a public perspective, the constituents do not really make the distinction. That might suit a particular constituent not to make the distinction because by the nature of local government elected members are going to be around the community a lot more often. They will not be in Dublin for two or three days a week. There is an important debate to be had about the level at which people are finding out how busy the local government scene is. I have not seen any analysis but I know that since the last local government elections there have been quite a few resignations because it is very difficult for someone to juggle a full-time job with the role as an elected member. We do not have a role in that ourselves but it is something that we will be talking to the Association of Irish Local Government, AILG and the Local Authorities Members Association, LAMA, about in March, at least around the training and resources for elected members. It will give us an insight into what the representative bodies think is needed to support the role of the elected member. The executive will be our full-time executive but there is an important debate to be had about the other side of that line, that is, those with a reserve function, the elected members. We do not have a direct role in that but we will be having very important discussions with the councillors' associations around these issues.


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