Welcome for key step in move to Directly Elected Mayor

The Mayor of the Limerick City and County, Cllr Michael Collins, has welcomed the approval by Government for the drafting of legislation for the new role of Ireland’s first directly elected mayor with executive powers. The election for the post of Directly Elected Mayor is expected to take place before the end of 2021, with the first term running until the local elections of 2029.

The first Directly Elected Mayor will have many of the functions of the existing Chief Executive such as housing and building, road transport and safety, strategic development and environmental services. The Government is also to explore the potential transfer of additional functions to the role.

Welcoming the move to draft legislation, Mayor Michael Collins said that it will lead to a historic moment later this year when Limerick again gives a national lead.

“Limerick is an ambitious place; we’re constantly looking to innovate and this will be another big moment for us in that regard as we become the first local authority in Ireland to have a directly elected mayor. This is not the first time we’ve been forging new frontiers in local government as in 2014 we became the first city and county local authorities to amalgamate.

“In 2019, the people of Limerick voted in favour of a directly elected Mayor. The acceptance by Government of the Report of the IAG and approving the drafting of legislation means that today we are another step closer to achieving that goal. Together with the amalgamation of our local authorities, Limerick has demonstrated its willingness to be a national leader when it comes to local government reform.”

Also welcoming the move, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council Dr Pat Daly said: “This is another moment when Limerick will break new ground. We look forward to working with the Department to finalise the necessary legislative requirements to ensure the introduction of the Directly Elected Mayor. We also look forward to details around additional functions for the role and making the absolute best of this departure.”

The proposed legislation will provide for:

  • The directly elected mayor being empowered to develop a ‘Programme for Local Government in Limerick’, a programme setting out the mayor’s vision and ambitions for Limerick, for approval by the elected council
  • The mayor being responsible for drafting the local authority’s annual budget, for approval by the elected council
  • The Chief Executive (to be re-named a ‘Director General’) retaining responsibility for functions such as managing and accounting for the council’s finances
  • The elected council retaining its reserved functions
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