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Local government reform
McCarthy, Colm
The reform proposals issued by the Minister for the Environment on March 7th last envisage an expansion in the role and scope of local government which is very wide-ranging. It includes: ? sub-county structures to cover the entire country, ? a new regional structure between central government and the counties, ? new local authorities in Dublin, ? a devolution of functions from central to local government. There are no proposals to eliminate any of the existing layers of administration - the urban district councils would be replaced by the new sub-county structures, while the existing and rather haphazard collection of sub-national bodies, such as Shannon Development and Udaras na Gaeltachta, would continue to operate. The majority of citizens currently enjoy just two tiers of government, national and one local authority. A minority fortunate enough to live in certain towns around the country get a further helping through the urban district council or town commissioners. under the Minister's proposals, all citizens will now enjoy four layers of government; national, regional, county and sub-county. At full county level, there will be 34 authorities (versus 32 at present), eight regions, and an unspecified number of sub-county units. At present, these sub-county units number about 80, and represent around 15% of the population. The extension of the coverage of these units to cover the whole country will presumably require an increase in their numbers to several hundred, with several thousand additional councillors. At present, the average citizen is represented by 2.15 tiers of government, national and local. Under the new proposals, this will rise to 4.0. Aside entirely from cost, the case for this level of representation in a small country is not easy to make in my view, and the report of the Government's expert committee is not persuasive.
Keyword(s): Local government; Local authority; 314.15
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Citation(s): McCarthy, Colm. 'Symposium on local government reform'. - Dublin: Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland,Vol. XXVI No. 3, 1990/1991, pp318-323
Publisher(s): Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland
Alternative Title(s): Symposium on Local Government Reform
File Format(s): application/pdf
First Indexed: 2014-05-13 05:40:18 Last Updated: 2014-05-13 05:40:18