Councillors briefed on role of Limerick's first directly elected mayor

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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nick@limerickleader.ie

Councillors briefed on role of Limerick's first directly elected mayor

LIMERICK's first directly elected mayor will be compelled by law to hold ‘leader's questions’, it has emerged.

Councillors were briefed on the proposals for the new role in a private briefing last week.

It has also emerged that a massive 80 pieces of legislation will need to be amended for the new role.

In a private briefing, councillors were given up-to-date information on the new role, which Limerick voted for in the summer.

The first citizen will be an extra member of the council - meaning Limerick will go from having 40 members to 41.

And while the directly elected mayor will have a vast swathe of executive powers, one thing they will not have is a casting or seconding vote in cases where any poll is tied.

The update on the directly elected mayor was held behind closed doors last week, with one councillor present, expressing scepticisim that the role will be ready to be put to the public by May 2021, as Junior Minister John Paul Phelan has said wants to happen.

"When you hear 80 pieces of legislation will need to be amended, it says to me that it will be some job to get this across the line with an election in the middle of it," the councillor, who did not wish to be named, stated.

The directly elected mayor plan - which was rejected in Cork and Waterford - will see a huge transfer of powers from existing chief executives, something it's felt could further slow the process.

A concern raised in the run-up to the plebiscite on the directly elected mayor was that too much power could be vested in one person.

It emerged from the briefing last week that Limerick's directly elected mayor could request further powers from the Minister of State for Local Government at the time.

Also, Limerick's first directly elected mayor will be mandated to provide a programme of works within their first three months of office.