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People of Limerick being asked what they'd like to see from directly-elected mayor

Limerick is the first city that will have a directly-elected mayor after locals voted for the move last year.

Image: Shutterstock/Diarmuid Greene

AFTER VOTING LAST year to have a direct-elected mayor in the city, the people of Limerick are now being asked to say what they’d like such a mayor to do. 

The electorate of Waterford, Limerick and Cork city went to the polls last year to decide whether or not they wanted to have a directly-elected mayor but only Limerick voted in favour.

The concept would see someone directly elected by the people and given a significant amount of the powers currently held by the chief executive who runs the local council. 

They’d have to prepare and oversee the implementation of a programme of office – similar to a programme for government. But they wouldn’t have a role in approving individual planning applications or the allocation of social housing to individuals and families.

The government is now seeking the opinion of the people of Limerick, themselves, in what they want from a mayor with a public consultation launched today. 

The consultation has been commissioned by the Independent Advisory Group that was formed by the government on the establishment of the mayor’s office. That group is set provide its own report later this summer. 

The current mayor of the city Michael Collins said today: “On 24 May 2019, the people of Limerick voted to be the first county in Ireland where people will directly elect their mayor. We are now asking the people to think about the potential in that role for Limerick and to tell us what they would like of their new mayor.”

Minister of State for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke said: “We want the people of Limerick to be involved and invested in this major reform project, which offers huge potential for their City and County. We encourage everyone in Limerick to participate in shaping this new role of Mayor.”

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The role will certainly have a lot of responsibility, with former Waterford Lord Mayor Adam Wyse telling TheJournal.ie prior to the plebiscites last year that it would need a “seriously high calibre of person” to take the reins over and handle the running of a city.

“The type of person who does this job will need to be similar to the other CEOs running the councils around the country,” the Waterford councillor said. “You’d wonder if those kinds of people would put themselves forward on the ballot.”

Following last year’s vote, the government said that it wouldn’t be until 2022 at the earliest before the position was brought in. 

The public consultation can be found here

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Sean Murray

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