BREAKING: Government approves plans for directly elected Mayor of Limerick

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

BREAKING: Government approves plans for directly elected Mayor of Limerick

The process to draft the required legislation will now begin

Limerick's first directly elected mayor could take office later this year after the Government approved plans to draft the necessary legislation.

The Minister of State for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke has welcomed the decision, earlier today, to begin drafting legislation to provide for a the new role which will have executive functions.

History was made nearly two years ago when voters in Limerick narrowly endorsed proposals for a directly elected mayor with executive powers and responsibilities.

A report from the Implementation Advisory Group was submitted to Government a number of months ago and today the next stage of the process was approved.

“I am pleased that government has given its approval to begin drafting the legislation necessary to establish the office of directly elected mayor in Limerick and to hold a mayoral election in Limerick later this year, if the public health situation allows”, said Minister Burke who has responsibility for the process.  

“This important decision brings us another step closer to the people of Limerick being able to elect their own mayor”, he added.

At its meeting this Tuesday the Government signed off on the General Scheme of a Bill which will provide for the establishment of the office of mayor, mayoral functions, and the governance structures underpinning that office.

It sets out an electoral code to hold mayoral elections in Limerick and provides for the holding of plebiscites on the issue in other local authority areas in 2024, if desired.

“I welcome the fact that Government also approved my proposals to include a number of specific new functions and responsibilities in the legislation, including provisions requiring the mayor to lead a local board to advance the implementation of Project Ireland 2040 in the Limerick city region and convene a rural board to examine all aspects of rural life in Limerick, as well as permitting the mayor to convene stakeholders on matters affecting Limerick. Provisions setting out a detailed mechanism for the removal of the mayor are also included,” said Minister Burke. 

"While the drafting of the legislation progresses in the coming months, I will forward the General Scheme of the Bill to the Oireachtas so that pre-legislative scrutiny can begin at the earliest opportunity. I look forward to engagement with the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Housing, Local Government and Heritage on this proposed legislation in the coming weeks,” he added.

While the holding of any election is subject to public health guidelines at the time, it is hoped a vote can take place in the last quarter of 2021 with the successful candidate remaining in office until the Local Elections of 2029.