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Local Government Reform - Sligo Local Authorities

Proposals for the reform of Local Government were made initially with the publication of “Putting People First – Action Programme for Effective Local Government” which was published by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in October 2012.  The publication of the “Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee Report 2013” in June 2013 defined the new local government structures and also a reduction in the number of local authorities and elected members. The Local Government Reform Act 2014 gives legal effect to the reforms.

Under the Government’s Local Government Reform Programme a major re-structuring of the way in which Local Government is administered will come into operation on the 1st June 2014.  The effect on Sligo Local Authorities will be as follows:-

  • Sligo Borough Council will be abolished and all of its functions taken over by Sligo County Council.
  • Two new Municipal Districts will come into being with members elected to serve each District.  The districts will be known as The Borough District of Sligo comprising 10 members and the Municipal District of Ballymote – Tubbercurry comprising 8 members.
  • The chairperson of the Borough District of Sligo may be given the title of Mayor.
  • The total elected membership of both Districts will make up the membership of Sligo County Council.
  • Sligo County Council will be a single county-wide executive, without duplicate administrative or organisational overheads.
  • The resources of Sligo County Council will be available to service the requirements of both the County Council and the Municipal Districts and to perform the functions and services of local government generally within the county.
  • There will be a defined set of reserved functions which will be carried out by the County Council, the Municipal Districts, or both as required. Functions may also be devolved from the County Council to the Municipal Districts.
  • Where a reserved function is performed by the members at district level, it will, in legal terms, be a decision or act of the overall local authority.
  • The municipal district will not be a separate local authority and will not have separate corporate status.
  • The position of County Manager will be replaced by the position of Chief Executive.

 

 

County Sligo Municipal Districts- County Sligo Municipal Districts

 

Annual Budget Preparation

There will be a new procedure for the preparation of the annual estimates.  A draft budgetary plan must be prepared for each Municipal District and submitted to the Municipal District members for consideration.  In preparing the budgetary plan regard must be given to the needs of and the resources available or likely to be available to the local authority and the resource needs of each municipal district including, where appropriate, the population of each municipal district.

Following consideration of the draft budgetary plan the municipal district members shall by resolution adopt it with or without amendment (Reserved Function).

Account must be taken of any budgetary plan adopted by municipal district members in preparing the draft local authority budget.

 

Schedule of Municipal District Works

Following adoption of the local authority budget, a schedule of proposed works of maintenance and repair to be carried out during the financial year in each municipal district must be prepared having regard to the availability of resources.

This schedule shall be considered by the relevant municipal district members and be adopted by resolution, with or without amendment. Any amendment must have regard to the adopted local authority budget.

If the schedule of proposed works is not adopted by the municipal district members, the local authority concerned shall consider it and adopt it by resolution with or without amendment taking the adopted local authority budget into account.

 

Local authority service delivery plans

Local Authorities will be required to prepare a Service Delivery Plan in respect of each Financial Year identifying the services intended to be provided by it to the public.

The plan shall be consistent with the provisions in the local authority budget for the financial year to which it relates. It shall take account of best practice in service delivery and shall include:-

  • A statement of the principal services to be provided
  • The objectives and priorities for the delivery of each of the services and the strategies for achieving those objectives and priorities.
  • The performance standards intended to be met in the delivery of services, including reference to each appropriate performance standard prescribed by the Minister.
  • The manner in which the local authority proposes to assess its performance in respect of the delivery of services, including identification of relevant indicators prescribed by law and the performance indicators and performance standards prescribed by the Minister
  • It shall take account of such policies and objectives in relation to any of its functional programmes that are set out in any other plan, plans or documents prepared under other enactments, any service level agreements, etc.
  • It shall be considered by the elected members having regard to the local authority budget and be adopted by resolution, with or without amendment (reserved function).

A local authority shall include in its annual report an assessment of its delivery of services during the year concerned when compared with its service delivery plan for that year, including reference to those performance standards and performance indicators specified in regulations.

 

Local Enterprise Office (LEO)

The County Enterprise Board will be incorporated into Sligo County Council under a new function known as the Local Enterprise Office and a major focus of the Council in future will be Local Economic Development.

  • Local Authorities will take a proactive approach to ensure that their general functions support enterprise and job creation.
  • Local Authorities will play a more direct role and will lead, mobilise and provide local focus on economic development and job creation.
  • The Local Enterprise Office will develop an “Economic Plan” for boosting enterprise, job creation and economic development within the county.
  • The Plan will include measures to promote economic development, to create and sustain jobs, to enhance and exploit local economic performance and potential, promote local economic activity.

 

Local Community Development Committees (LCDC)

Existing County Development Boards will be abolished and replaced by Local Community Development Committees (LCDC)

Functions of the LCDC will be:-

  • To prepare and adopt a 6 year local community plan (which will form part of the overall County Local Economic and Community Plan)
  • To arrange for the implementation and review of the community elements of that Plan.
  • To manage and oversee the implementation of the Department of the Environment Community and Local Government ’s Local Development Programme

Membership of the LCDC:-

  • Will comprise of both public and private representation.
  • No one interest group to have more than 49% of voting
  • Maximum of 15 comprised as follows:

Statutory 

  • Elected members, Local Authority CEO (County Manager) or nominee, State Agencies

Non Statutory /Private sector interests

  • Partnership Company, Community and Voluntary interests, Social inclusion interests, Business/employer interests, Farming and Agricultural interests, Trade Union interests, Environmental Interests, Local development /community development bodies.

 

March 2014

 

Downloads

Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee Report 2013 (PDF) - 16,052 kbs  

Putting People First - Action Plan for Effective Local Government (PDF) - 8,110 kbs

 

 

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