Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says a Government review of local election boundaries will do nothing to implement any real reform of local representation. She made the comments following the establishment of a review of local election boundaries, which is due to be completed by Easter.
Deputy Chambers commented, “The review initiated by Minister of State John Paul Phelan will not result in any meaningful reform. He wants to see new limits of five to seven seats per district implemented but there appears to be no real rationale behind this proposal. Back in 2011 Fine Gael promised a democratic revolution, but what has actually happened in the intervening years is a disconnect between the public and their local representatives.
“The abolition of town councils and creation of super-sized local electoral areas has only served to distance people from the tier of government that should be closest to them. This latest proposal is nothing more than an attempt by Fine Gael to appear as if it is taking action to improve local democracy, when in fact it is simply messing around with boundaries and seat numbers without any financial powers.
“Fianna Fáil wants to see the reintroduction of town councils and has brought forward a Bill to oversee their establishment. This Bill has now undergone scrutiny at committee stage in the Oireachtas and I am hopeful that it can be progressed and implemented so that local government can properly deliver for its citizens.”