Mayor to Transform Public's Connection with Local Government in Dublin
"I am making the most significant change to leadership in Dublin since the foundation of the State," said Mr John Gormley, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, today (12 May, 2008) when he announced the Government decision to introduce a directly elected Mayor for the Dublin Region.
"2010 will see the direct-election, by the people of the Dublin Region, of a highly-visible and accountable Mayor who will have the authority and powers to deliver real leadership for the city and region.
The Mayor's leadership will derive from a suite of substantial powers across the functions of local government," said the Minister. "I also believe, that by virtue of the breadth of the Mayor"s democratic mandate, he or she will be an extremely strong political voice speaking on behalf of Dubliners in local, regional and national politics."
The Mayor will have responsibility for establishing strategic policy in relation to land-use planning, waste management, water services, and housing across the 4 major Dublin local authorities. The Mayor will also be chair of the Dublin Transport Authority, leading the Authority in delivering reliable, integrated and cost effective transport for the Greater Dublin Area. "I believe that the Mayor can bring together a coherent approach to both land-use and transport policy in the Dublin in one Office," stated the Minister.
The Mayor will oversee implementation by the Dublin local authorities of the agreed regional strategies. The Dublin local authorities will be required to ensure that their actions are in compliance with the Mayor"s regional plans and strategies, while retaining their role in adopting individual plans, strategies and budgets, and in the detail of implementation.
The Mayor will also bring key public and private sector partners together to promote a dynamic and enterprising city region. The integration of the activities of local government and the wider public service will be an important role for the Mayor, which will result in a better public service and improved services across the board.
"I am confident that the Mayor will raise the profile of Dublin, enhance local democracy and accountability, and lead the provision of a more effective and integrated public service across the city and region," said the Minister.
"Since the publication of the Green Paper on local government in April of last year, the economic downturn has created challenges which underline the need for greater accountability, responsiveness and efficiency across the public sector. The Dublin Mayor will drive this work forward by supporting regional innovation and taking the initiative in Dublin to respond to global and national economic recovery, and wherever possible be the driver and leader locally of local development to hasten recovery," added the Minister.
"I further believe that this exciting new beginning for Dublin, at a time of economic challenges, offers a model which can inspire radical change in other regions of the State. This is an issue the Government will be turning to later in the year.
Note for Editors
The costs of the Mayor's Office will be met from existing resources within local government.
Work is now beginning on drafting the necessary legislation to prepare for the Dublin Mayor. The White Paper on Local Government which deals with a fuller suite of local government reform will be published after Government consideration of the Report of the Commission on Taxation.