Dublin City Council has confirmed in a report to Fianna Fail Councillor Paul McAuliffe that the cost of implementing the government’s plan to increase the number of councillors in the city by 11 will cost more than €330,000 annually from the city’s already stretched budget. This figure will reach in excess of one million euro when the entire city and county area receives its proposed increase of 50 councillors as proposed by Minister Hogan.
The report comes as a number of politicians from differing parties lodged critical submissions to the independent Boundary Commission tasked with drawing up the new boundaries for these extra council seats.
Cllr McAuliffe (FF) Cllr Binchy (FG) Cllr Ring (IND) Cllr Fitzpatrick (FF) and TD Eoghan Murphy were all critical of the proposal to increase the number of councillors in the city area from 52 to 63.
This figure will reach in excess of €1 million when the entire city and county area receives its increase of 50 councillors, as proposed by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan last November.
The plans also received cross party rejection from Fine Gael’s Bill Tormey, Labour’s John Redmond and Sinn Fein’s Anthony Connaghan who supported a motion put forward by Fianna Fáil’s Paul McAuliffe at an area council meeting last month
In his submission to the Boundary Committee Fianna Fáil City Councillor, Paul McAuliffe described the increase as “a gross waste of public money”.
“Increasing the number of councillors in Dublin is just ‘jobs for the boys’. It’s a gerrymander to ensure sitting government councillors retain their seats in the next local elections. I understand that this proposal was demanded by the Labour party in a deal thrashed out between the coalition parties. Dublin does not need more councillors. It’s not what people want and it’s not good for local government.” said Cllr McAuliffe.
“The Minister’s proposals are a missed opportunity to provide real reform for local government. International experience tells us that in a large city like Dublin, we actually need less councillors who have more of their time focused on running the city.”