The Government’s approval for the drafting of legislation for the new role of Ireland’s first directly elected mayor with executive powers has been welcomed by the Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Michael Collins.
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 2029 Local Elections.
The first such 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 “This will be another big moment for us 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.
The proposed legislation will provide for:
- The directly elected mayor being empowered to develop a Programme for Local Government in Limerick, 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 Director General) retaining responsibility for functions such as managing and accounting for the council’s finances.
- The elected council retaining its reserved functions.
“In 2019, the people of Limerick voted in favour of a directly elected mayor. The acceptance by Government of the IAG Report and approving the drafting of legislation means that 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,” he noted.