Directly elected Mayors need real executive powers - Ó Broin
Responding to reports that Minister Coveney intends to revisit plans for directly elected mayors in Dublin and other major towns, Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin has said that real executive powers would need to be devolved to the office holders in order for the move to signal a new approach to local government.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Providing citizens with an opportunity to elect their own mayor would strengthen the democracy of local government.
“However directly elected mayors would only be valuable if they had real powers devolved from central government departments and agencies.
“The Mayor should have responsibility for a number of well-defined executive functions including transport, waste management and tourism.
“Sinn Féin believes the Mayor would also have responsibility for policy creation and development in a number of areas including housing and planning, the environment and the local economy.
Ó Broin continued:
“While supporting the role of a directly elected mayor we would not support any loss of power from existing local authorities.
“For example in the case of Dublin, the Mayor should be held to account by a regional assembly made of councillors from each of the four Dublin local authorities appointed using the Group selection system.
“This Assembly could also assist the Mayor in the development of strategic policy while having a role, with the local authorities, in the appointment of the Directors of Service.
“Devolving powers to a directly elected mayor would also require a serious discussion on how such functions would be funded, though in the short term it would be funded from existing central government and state agencies’ resources.”