Minister for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell T.D. recently launched the “Your Council” campaign, to provide members of the public with more information about local government and the role of the Councillor.
Minister O’Donnell said, “Local Councils and Councillors play a huge role in shaping communities across the country. They oversee the development of local areas for the benefit of everyone, including the provision of essential services such as housing, recreation, road maintenance, public lighting and footpaths, biodiversity and water quality management. They also play a vital role in local economic development through supports to and engagement with local businesses.
“As the remit of local government and Councillors is so varied, it is hoped that this campaign will encourage greater awareness among the general public of the crucial role played by Councils and Councillors. In particular, the campaign will highlight the Councillors’ role in policymaking, governance and oversight, and as representatives within their local communities.”
Paul Johnston, Acting Director of Services with Waterford City and County Council welcomed the initiative saying the role of local authorities and local Councillors is extensive and multi-faceted.
“Councillors are at the heart of their communities and robustly represent their constituents. Through their strong local links and interest in their localities, they help bring local issues to the council chamber for address. Councillors also help to shape policy framework within which the local authority’s executive and employees work.
“Waterford City and County Council is guided by the principles of the City and County Development Plans, Local Economy and Community Plans, national policies and legislation, EU directives and regulations, and increasingly by Climate Action plans and agendas. Moreover, it is governed by 32 Elected Members, who crucially have a political remit to represent their constituents.”
Paul added, “The Local Authority provides a whole myriad of services such as housing, libraries and fire services, while taking the lead role in economic and social development, managing essential infrastructure and developing and maintaining local amenities and services. It’s a broad and sometimes challenging remit, but one that our 800-strong staff takes pride in.”
Members of the public are invited to visit www.gov.ie/YourCouncil to find out more about the vital work local Councils and Councillors do, and how important it is to be informed and engaged with local government.
In conclusion Minster O’Donnell said, “I would encourage everyone to engage with the information provided, to visit www.gov.ie/YourCouncil – and indeed engage with the work of local authorities.
“Life in your local area is shaped by the decisions and policies made by your Council and the Councillors you elect to represent your community. While it is of the utmost importance, particularly in a local election year, that we are all fully informed on the important work they do, greater awareness can also allow individuals to become more involved in local government structures and decision making in their local areas.”