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21st Century Local Authorities: A litany of failure

GDPR

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Jul 5, 2008
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224,089
Two of the main functions left with local authorities is housing and planning. A quick recall of how they have handled these will reveal utter failure. Planning boom, with over zoning, vast amounts of housing built in the wrong areas and failure to build Council housing that utterly fails its remit. One can only conclude that local authorities are not fit for purpose. Also, there are far too many chiefs who are solely interested in controlling insofar as they can their little kingdom. This means too many Chief Executives, Directors of Services, Senior Planners, Senior Engineers, Senior Fire Officers, Senior Housing Officers etc etc.

In light of their repeated failure, which in part is due to lack of funding to fulfill their mandated functions, we should use the existing housing crisis to grasp the nettle once and for all. There should be a maximum of 8 regional authorities, taking into account population and geography. These regional authorities should have 1 one chief executive etc. P45 time for the rest, no point creating another bloated version of HSE or Irish Water. These authorities must then be funded so as to roll out the needed infrastructure, in the right areas, to facilitate much needed development and to make the most of existing built up areas. They must be big enough to have sufficient clout and funding, but be small enough to respond to local needs. E-planning must be embraced, along with a streamlining of procurement, IT etc. A side benefit would be a lessening of local cronyism and general gombeenism.

What say p.ie? Any other suggestions are most welcome.

http://www.politics.ie/forum/political-reform/164033-ireland-has-too-many-local-authorities.html
Fast-tracking housing without the mistakes | Irish Examiner
Local councils must be forced to take action to address housing crisis - Independent.ie
 
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Windowshopper

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Oct 14, 2011
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I would be very reluctant to abolish the county councils as Irish people tend to identify strongly with them and a shared identity is important in making a polity work whether it's a country or a regional institution. Bigger is not necessarily better.

While I am usually suspicious of presidential style politics maybe a directly elected mayors might be in order. Councils are mainly powerless and those with ability would most likely see it as a stepping stone. In the UK the rise of super mayors are beginning to tempt a lot of senior politicians away from Westminster (though that could also be a result of a lot of Labour politicians feeling that a cabinet post will be a long way off for them).
 

drummed

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Oct 22, 2010
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One for each province and one for Dublin. 5 in total.

Destroy the rest.
 

GDPR

1
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Jul 5, 2008
Messages
224,089
I would be very reluctant to abolish the county councils as Irish people tend to identify strongly with them and a shared identity is important in making a polity work whether it's a country or a regional institution. Bigger is not necessarily better.

While I am usually suspicious of presidential style politics maybe a directly elected mayors might be in order. Councils are mainly powerless and those with ability would most likely see it as a stepping stone. In the UK the rise of super mayors are beginning to tempt a lot of senior politicians away from Westminster (though that could also be a result of a lot of Labour politicians feeling that a cabinet post will be a long way off for them).
I would see it as existing Council districts would largely remain as is. For example, Wexford has 4, based around the towns of Gorey to the north, Enniscorthy in the middle, Wexford in the southeast and New Ross to the west and southwest. They would feed into the regional authorities and have responsibilities for the more local stuff and retain the local factor. At the top tier, there would be the Dail, and this should be retained with politicians acting as legislators (their job), with the glorified county councillor types gravitating more towards the regional authorities.
 

GDPR

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I would also view it that these regional authorities as having significant tax raising powers, and to break up the power monopoly centered in the departments largely based around Dublin. This would mean the regional authorities would be responsible for policing, education, health etc.
 

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