Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Efficiency call for lord mayor plan

Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn said the introduction of an elected mayor in Dublin would have to be cost-effective

A directly elected lord mayor in Dublin would have to be efficient and cost-effective to justify introducing the potential new office, it has been warned.

The city's current Lord Mayor, Oisin Quinn - who was elected by members of Dublin City Council, not the public - said he hopes a much stronger political structure would emerge from the proposed reform.

"People don't want to see an extra political office with extra cost and no real delivery, and in fact, potential delay," Mr Quinn warned. "They want to see something that is going to be efficient and that is going to bring about results that improve people's lives living in the city."

He said a directly elected lord mayor of the capital could be appointed as soon as 2019, if the public supports the idea.

"There are a lot of important decisions for Dublin that are getting made by government and not by the local authorities at all," Mr Quinn said.

"I'm thinking of transport and policing, to name but two. And even the tourism issue - we only have a vague role in it. I think we should have a much bigger role. I would hope emerging from this you would see a much stronger political structure for Dublin."

Mr Quinn, a Labour Party councillor for Dublin City, will set up a forum and work with the three other local authorities that make up Greater Dublin to draft proposals for central government to consider.

A public vote on whether to appoint a directly-elected mayor would take place in May 2014 and if passed, the mayor would be elected during the following local elections five years later.

The four local authorities that make up Dublin are Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council - chaired by Labour councillor Dermot Looney - Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council - chaired by Labour's Carrie Smyth - and Fingal County Council - chaired by Fine Gael's Kieran Dennison.

The three Labour representatives launched a six-point action plan for Dublin, which includes the proposed introduction of a directly elected mayor, an expansion of the Dublin Bikes scheme and plans to boost local tourism.

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