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Keep county councils but consolidate their administrations


patslatt

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Consolidation of county council administrations in small counties all over Ireland into a few large regional administrations could probably achieve substantial economies of scale. For example,a Leinster county council administration could be set up to serve the counties around Dublin. This potential source of cost savings should be considered by the national government in its cost cutting programme.

Political representation at county level could continue as before with county managers and county councillors. It is highly unlikely that consolidation of the shires as in England would be acceptable here,given the strong identity with counties in the national psyche.
 


Schuhart

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Consolidation of county council administrations in small counties all over Ireland into a few large regional administrations could probably achieve substantial economies of scale. For example,a Leinster county council administration could be set up to serve the counties around Dublin. This potential source of cost savings should be considered by the national government in its cost cutting programme.

Political representation at county level could continue as before with county managers and county councillors.
I can't see how it would work unless you amalgamated counties as well. How else could you resolve the issue of two or more Councils making demands on the same resources?
It is highly unlikely that consolidation of the shires as in England would be acceptable here,given the strong identity with counties in the national psyche.
In one sense, yes. But nothing is written in stone. The English created our county system. Are we really such slaves to it that we cannot change it?

To be honest, I'd like to see it happen. I think the change in mindset would do our society a lot of good. The alignment of county and politics is a lethal combination, and goes a long way to explain the imbecility of our public life.
 

patslatt

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I can't see how it would work unless you amalgamated counties as well. How else could you resolve the issue of two or more Councils making demands on the same resources?In one sense, yes. But nothing is written in stone. The English created our county system. Are we really such slaves to it that we cannot change it?

To be honest, I'd like to see it happen. I think the change in mindset would do our society a lot of good. The alignment of county and politics is a lethal combination, and goes a long way to explain the imbecility of our public life.
Different councils' service demands could be charged fees beyond a basic service.
 

juanpablo

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Any change in local administration boundaries should coincide with a reduction in size and role of national institutions and devolve responsibility to local level and let DE focus on national issues.

Abolish Seanad Eireann, Reduce the number of TDs in DE, consolidate the 34 local authorities into more realistic modern administrative centres. move policy making in areas like the Dep. of Environment and Transport to local level. Let the Local Authorities fund themselves.
 

wombat

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During the late boom, DLRCoCO, formerly Dun Laoghaire corporation built new offices in Dundrum, so that the impoverished inhabitants would not have to endure the arduous journey to Dun Laoghaire Town Hall in their 4 x 4's. I kid you not, in their insanity, they think Dun Laoghaire is the same size as Mayo or Cork.
 

Schuhart

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Different councils' service demands could be charged fees beyond a basic service.
I don't understand how this would work. How would the 'basic service' be established? And say you merged the administration of Offaly, Longford, Westmeath and Meath (just to make it concrete). How would you get agreement from the four Councils as to where the administrative offices would be? Say, on balance, you thought Tullamore was the best place. Do you think the other three Councils would accept that?
 

Question R24U

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3 of the scariest letters when combined - H S and E.
Its a no from me. That said social housing should be for real and urgent need as opposed to social and affordable, the planning function should be overseen by a a corruption watchdog (and votes not money is far more corrupting), and services only paired back to the bare minimal.

Local government is a luxury in a country with 4.2m people.
 

juanpablo

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Local government is a luxury in a country with 4.2m people.

It is when most power and decision making lies at national level. Our overly centralised structure means that our LAs are under utilised whilst our Pols play the goodies for the constituency game when they are supposed to be making decisions in national interest as Ministers. Messrs Cullen/O Donoghue/Cowen/O Cuiv in particular are guilty of using their Ministerial briefs to advance their own local agenda to the detriment of the national interest.
 

Question R24U

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It is when most power and decision making lies at national level. Our overly centralised structure means that our LAs are under utilised whilst our Pols play the goodies for the constituency game when they are supposed to be making decisions in national interest as Ministers. Messrs Cullen/O Donoghue/Cowen/O Cuiv in particular are guilty of using their Ministerial briefs to advance their own local agenda to the detriment of the national interest.
Until TDs are elected by a list system, the stranglehood of the Parish Pump rules all other considerations (ut would probably have to be a half list/half constituency as the people could vote against it)
 

juanpablo

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Until TDs are elected by a list system, the stranglehood of the Parish Pump rules all other considerations (ut would probably have to be a half list/half constituency as the people could vote against it)
Well if you reduce TD numbers to a level where larger constituencies with fewer seats meaning a candidate may need to do more to win a seat then a get out the local vote in their town strategy.

With more power at local level the role of Cllrs will be enhanced as the reformed larger councils will have a little more clout and be dealing hopefully in things like provision of public transport,education and other areas. I think some things can be done better locally.
 

Factorem

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120+ town/city/county councils is a joke.

Melt down the gold chains and give the proceeds to the homeless.
 

patslatt

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I don't understand how this would work. How would the 'basic service' be established? And say you merged the administration of Offaly, Longford, Westmeath and Meath (just to make it concrete). How would you get agreement from the four Councils as to where the administrative offices would be? Say, on balance, you thought Tullamore was the best place. Do you think the other three Councils would accept that?
If any one of the locations was acceptable,more or less,the choice could be determined by picking a name out of a hat. But if economically feasible,it would be fairer to decentralise functionally specialised deparments to the various towns. For example,payroll department could be in Tullamore,garbage collection department in Longford town,roads,water and sewage maintenance and buildings management in Navan.

Basic services levels could be established through cost accounting and economic analysis and agreed on through political negotiation between counties. If one county wanted more of a service than the others,it should have to pay extra tax for that,say,for more frequent garbage collection or an increase in the number of its parks.
 
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Schuhart

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But if economically feasible,it would be fairer to decentralise functionally specialised deparments to the various towns. For example,payroll department could be in Tullamore,garbage collection department in Longford town,roads,water and sewage maintenance and buildings management in Navan.
Can I suggest that this just wouldn't be economically feasible, and would actually expose the public purse to all of the costs associated with the relocation of central Government offices.
Basic services levels could be established through cost accounting and economic analysis and agreed on through political negotiation between counties. If one county wanted more of a service than the others,it should have to pay extra tax for that,say,for more frequent garbage collection or an increase in the number of its parks.
I've a feeling that there's quite a lot hiding behind the words "cost accounting and economic analysis". I mean, look how receptive people in Nenagh and Ennis are to hearing that their 24 hour A&E units make no operational sense.

I'm afraid this approach would only make sense if you had a single regional authority. Otherwise, you'll just have all the waste you have at the moment plus additional waste from convoluted co-ordination mechanisms.
 

wysiwyg

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Said it before, and will say it again..

Get rid of the county councils and create 5 regional authorities based on the Euro electoral areas...
 

Dillon Country

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Well if you reduce TD numbers to a level where larger constituencies with fewer seats meaning a candidate may need to do more to win a seat then a get out the local vote in their town strategy.

With more power at local level the role of Cllrs will be enhanced as the reformed larger councils will have a little more clout and be dealing hopefully in things like provision of public transport,education and other areas. I think some things can be done better locally.
That makes sense. This Parish Pump mentality is what has kept Fianna Fáil in power for far too long. It also means that we get politicians elected at national level who are more interested in sorting individual planning applications and even sorting out Parking Tickets than they are at dealing with real issues.

I am from County Monaghan, though working in Dublin. In County Monaghan we have 70 public representatives for a county with a population of just under 56,000! It is crazy!
 

Jarl Van hoother

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Oct 2, 2008
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Can I suggest that this just wouldn't be economically feasible, and would actually expose the public purse to all of the costs associated with the relocation of central Government offices.I've a feeling that there's quite a lot hiding behind the words "cost accounting and economic analysis". I mean, look how receptive people in Nenagh and Ennis are to hearing that their 24 hour A&E units make no operational sense.

I'm afraid this approach would only make sense if you had a single regional authority. Otherwise, you'll just have all the waste you have at the moment plus additional waste from convoluted co-ordination mechanisms.
This sounds like a rehash of the decentralisation argument. If you amalgate three county councils and then distribute their functions over three locations, there is hardly any gain.
 

new face

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Aug 28, 2008
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Over the last number of months all we have heard is cuts in this and that.
What we need to do is see where the financial leaks are and then start reforms to ensure the leaks dont appear again.
The biggest leak in local authority is un elected county managers and incompetent elected representatives.
 

Jarl Van hoother

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Oct 2, 2008
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I partially agree with you new face, the unaccountability of the County Managers is a cause for worry but I don't think that it is just incompetent Elected representatives. Isn't it really their self-interest that causes more problems than incompetence?
 

smitchy2

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Jan 28, 2008
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Yeah, this certainly does present an opportunity to shake up the crazy council system in this country.
Centralising administration will free up a lot of bureaucracy and improve efficiencies dramatically- once implemented properly.
unfortunately this will mean redundancies or reallocation to other public sector areas.
 

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