Thursday, 13 December 2018
Local Government Bill 2018: Report and Final Stages
I support the amendment. It makes complete sense that one would decide in accordance with the result of the plebiscite.
Amendment No. 17, which is in my name, was ruled out of order because it conflicts with the principles of the Bill not because it was a cost on the Exchequer. I want to get clarity from the Minister of State on the issue. He said in response to a previous amendment that a paper is going to the Cabinet on metropolitan governance. The reason for my amendment is that I wanted to ensure there would be a draft Bill before people vote on a plebiscite so that they would know what the functions of a directly elected mayor would be, and that they would know how the directly elected mayor would interact with elected members, the executive and other bodies operating within the administrative area. I do not understand why the amendment was ruled out of order. I did not bring it up previously because I did not want to interrupt the flow of the debate on the Galway issue. I raise it now while supporting Deputy O'Brien's amendment. Could the Minister of State clarify that the public will know what they are voting for when they vote in the plebiscite in terms of what kind of functions and relationships the directly elected mayor will have.
Prior to the most recent referendum the heads of the Bill were produced so that people knew when they were voting in the referendum what sort of legislation they were going to get after their decision was made. In a similar spirit, in voting for a plebiscite on whether to have a directly elected mayor in their city, people would know what the directly elected mayor would do.