Claremorris local election candidate Paul Lawless is calling for firm and transparent measures to bridge the disconnect between local politicians and the public who vote for them.
Lawless said, "While out on the canvassing trail I am inundated with people telling me they have very little faith in the system and are tired of broken promises from elected politicians who only get busy a few months before election day.
"To remedy this I propose some simple but effective changes that will hold elected politicians accountable and give the people a voice in county council affairs.
"We need to introduce a 'Citizens Initiative' type of system for Mayo County Council, comparable to what we have in the European Parliament. At EU level and across all member nations, the public can have an issue of concern debated by our MEPs at the European Parliament once they collect one million signatures.
"At a local level, I propose that if the public want to lobby the council to debate an issue we should be able to do so once 500 signatures are collected in the county. I would then go further and suggest that a representative of those citizens should be able to address the council before the debate is held. This would keep the council focused on the issues of the people.
"Furthermore, we could establish an online noticeboard facility where local issues can be highlighted directly to the council by the electorate. Such a forum ensures transparency while keeping the electorate informed. This way local issues that are not addressed will be in the public domain and political inaction will be visible to the public. This facility ensures promises can't be ignored, and issues can be highlighted."
"Additionally, I am calling on Mayo County to broadcast chamber proceedings through an online streaming platform. Facebook Live, for example, would be a wonderful way to open up the debates of Mayo County Council to the general public. These measures would provide the people of Mayo with real accountability and transparency."