Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
The people of Limerick voted in favour of a directly elected Mayor with executive functions for their local authority area in a plebiscite on 24 May 2019.
The Local Government Act 2019 requires the Minister to submit to the Oireachtas a report with legislative proposals for a directly elected mayor for Limerick, within two years of the plebiscite vote, i.e. by 24 May 2021.
Work is ongoing both within my Department and in consultation with other relevant Departments to analyse all legislation conferring functions and powers on local authorities to inform the required report and legislative proposals.
In order to inform the process further, an Implementation Advisory Group (IAG) has also been established in Limerick, under the chairmanship of Mr Tim O’Connor. Its members include representatives of the main stakeholders in Limerick City & County, including elected members, and representatives of business, community, academic and student interests.
Information on the Group, including its membership, terms of reference, meeting agendas and reports, are available at the following link:
The Groups primary focus so far has been on determining the scope of the role, particularly identifying substantive new functions and responsibilities, and matching resources, that could be recommended for assignation to the new Mayor, who will have a strong directly elected mandate. The Group is taking the approach that local government in Limerick must be enhanced through the directly elected mayor project, encapsulating enhancements in the effectiveness of the elected council and the executive function, led and supported by the new Directly Elected Mayor.
As part of its analysis a series of case studies is currently being undertaken to examine local government mayoral experience in other comparable jurisdictions. A major public consultation exercise is being undertaken seeking feedback from Limerick people and communities on the positive differences a Directly Elected Mayor can make. A public information event is envisaged for later this year at which the IAG will present its initial findings.