DCSIMG

Dundalk must get its share of seats

CLLR Conor Keelan has said the new commission to look into local electoral boundaries must take into account the need to balance the number of seats in the areas that will replace both Dundalk and Drogheda municipal authorities.

Cllr Keelan told a meeting of Dundalk Town Council that councilors shouled be aware of the fact that the commission has been established.

It is important, he stated, that Drogheda does not get a greater number of seats because it is a borough.

Cllr Keelan was critical of the local government reforms when they were announced in October.

He said councillors cost just 0.7 per cent of the expenditure on local government and that most of the 420m euro savings will come from reduction in council staff.

“There is scant detail in the document,” Cllr Keelan said at the time. “It is more aspirational and we could end up with a real democratic deficit.

“Louth is the second most urbanised county in the state and therefore we would have a case for keeping our municipal authorities.

“We are one of the most centralised states in western Europe and with the proposed abolishment of the Seanad, this is just another step in the removal of local democracy.”

Cllr Keelan said central government is unwilling to share functions with local government and there is nothing in this programme to indicate any change in that policy.

He was also critical of the lack of detail on the new municipal districts.

The Putting People First document wants: town councils will be replaced by municipal districts which will over the entire county.

From 2014 councillors will be elected to the county council and municipal districts. There will be at least five councillors per municipal district.

 

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