Written answers

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government

Proposed Legislation

5:00 pm

Photo of James BannonJames Bannon (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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Question 10: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans to introduce legislation for a directly elected Mayor of Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16006/10]

Photo of Ulick BurkeUlick Burke (Galway East, Fine Gael)
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Question 16: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when he expects to have an election for a directly elected Mayor of Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16012/10]

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Minister, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Dublin South East, Green Party)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 10 and 16 together.

The introduction of a directly elected Mayor for Dublin will deliver significantly strengthened leadership for the city and region, with enhanced accountability and a direct connection with the citizen.

The Mayor will have a powerful role to set out strategic policy across Dublin and oversight of operational implementation. He or she will also have a strong mandate to integrate the activities of local government and the wider public service in and across Dublin. The Mayor's powers will include the capacity to ensure that activities across the Dublin Region's local authorities are consistent with the regional strategic framework.

It is my firm intention that the election of the Mayor takes place this year. A general scheme of legislation to provide for the Mayor was published on my Department's website in February, as an opportunity for further consultation before the finalisation of the Bill, and to facilitate early implementation of the Bill's provisions once enacted. The Bill is currently being drafted by Parliamentary Counsel as a matter of priority.

Copies of the general scheme have been provided to each of the Party Leaders and spokespeople on local government, as well as to the Dublin local authorities. I met with representatives of the opposition Parties on 4 March and briefed them on the Mayor's functions and responsibilities. My Department is also engaging with the Dublin local authorities on the detail of the general scheme's provisions to make the necessary practical and operational preparations for the Mayor's election and introduction.

I am conscious that, given the proximity of this year's inaugural mayoral election, drafting should be completed as soon as possible to allow for the introduction of the Bill. I look forward to the passage of the Bill through the Oireachtas, and the first direct election of the Mayor for Dublin in 2010.

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