Publications

What the book is about

The importance and potential of local government in Ireland is often understated. Local government plays a vital, even if undervalued, role in Ireland’s system of government. Members of the public – the citizens served by local government – often remain unaware of its impact on their daily lives until vital services such as roads are negatively affected by severe weather conditions or a controversial planning decision is made.

Local Government in the Republic of Ireland is a valuable resource for those with an interest in knowing more about how our system of local government works, including students, practitioners, and those who regularly interact with local councils. It explains the geographic basis for county council and city council areas; how local councils are elected; and the role of local councillors and the executive/staff in local government. The book provides an overview of the services provided, financing, participation, and accountability in local government. How local government interacts with central government, a range of different public bodies, regional structures, and the European Union is also examined.

Ireland’s system is assessed in the context of local government systems internationally. The book also explores more recent developments, such as the introduction of the local property tax, debates over directly elected mayors, metropolitan governance and the role of ‘city regions’, and local government’s new role in economic development and enterprise support.

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
List of Tables and Figures
List of Abbreviations

1. The Role of Local Government
Local Government as an Instrument of Local Democracy
Local Government as a Provider of Services
Local Government as an Agent of Central Government
Local Government as a Local Regulator
Local Government as a Local Leader and Coordinator within ‘Local Governance’
Local Government and the Constitution
Conclusion

2. The Evolution and Reform of Local Government
Origins of Irish Local Government
The Inheritance: The 1898 Local Government System
Local Government during the Struggle for Independence
Local Government in the Irish Free State
Postwar Local Government
Local Government Reform Initiatives since the 1990s
Conclusion

3. Local Government Areas and Territory
Local Government Structures: County and City Councils
Municipal Districts
Other Local Agencies and Bodies
Pre-2014 Territorial Restructuring
Proposals for Territorial Reform
The 2014 Reforms
Proposed Reforms in Cork and Galway
The Resilience of the County
Conclusion

4. The Local Council and Elected Councillors
Role of Elected Council and Councillor
Reserved functions and policy
Adopting bye-laws
Scrutiny and oversight of the executive
Representing constituents and the local community
Part-time role?
Nominations to Other Bodies
Local Councillors
Profiling local councillors
Political parties and independents
Council Meetings
Council Structures and Committees
The mayor/cathaoirleach
Municipal districts and area committees
Strategic Policy Committees
Other committees
Corporate Policy Group
Decision-Making in Local Councils
Number of Councillors and Representational Levels
Local Elections
Election campaigns and the local elections process
Election turnout
A distinct electorate: citizens and resident
Five-year term of office
Ending dual national and local representation
Vacancies on the council
Removal of elected council by central government
Debate over a Stronger Political Executive/Directly Elected Mayors
Conclusion: The Local Council as Fixers, Policymakers and Representatives

5. The Local Executive
Origins and Evolution of the Management System
Appointment and Tenure of Chief Executive
Role of Chief Executive
Executive functions
Relations with the elected council
Balance of power between elected council and chief executive
Relations with the wider local community
Relations with national government
Day-to-day tasks and demands
Local Government Staff
Directors of service and management teams
Staffing levels
Staff recruitment and mobility
Human resource management and staff appraisal
Conclusion

6. Local Government Functions and Services Housing
Provision of local authority housing
Housing maintenance, estate management and urban renewal
Voluntary housing associations
Homelessness
Traveller accommodation
Future challenges
Roads and Transport
Road construction
Road maintenance
Traffic management and road safety
Collection of motor tax
Public transport and sustainable development
Future challenges
Spatial and Land Use Planning
Forward planning
Development management
Planning enforcement
Heritage and conservation
Building control, regeneration and other regulatory powers
Future challenges
Environmental Protection and Waste Management
Sustainable development
Climate change
Waste management
Litter
Water pollution
Air and noise pollution
Environmental awareness and promotion
Future challenges
Fire Services and Emergency Planning
Fire brigade
Civil defence
Recreational and Cultural Services
Public libraries
Arts and culture
Parks, playgrounds, sport and recreation
Education, Health and Agriculture
Planning for schools and education provision
Education and Training Boards
Higher education grants
Regional health fora
Coroner service
Veterinary services and animal control and welfare
Economic Development and Enterprise Support
Local Development
Towards greater coordination of local development
Local Community Development Committees
Other Services and Activities
Register of electors
Joint Policing Committees
General Competence
Coordination of childcare, children and youth services
Broadband provision
Conclusion
 

7. Local Government Finance
Capital Expenditure
Current Expenditure
Local Government Revenue
Local Property Tax
Commercial Rates
Service Charges
Central Government Grants
Local Government Fund
Equalisation
Specific purpose grants
Other Revenue Sources
The Budgetary ProcessAnnual Financial Statement
Financial Management and Audit
Reviews of Local Government Financing
Early reviews
KPMG review, 1996
Indecon review, 2005
Commission on Taxation review, 2009
Local Government Efficiency Review, 2010
Conclusion

8. Democratic and Accountability Reforms
Local Democracy and Participation
Participative reform proposals in local government
Public Participation Networks
Local Community Development Committee
Fora for young people and the elderly
Joint Policing Committees
Other participative mechanisms
Statutory consultation
Accountability in Local Government
Accountability to the electorate
Accountability to the elected councilAccountability to central government departments and agencies
Legal accountability: the courts and access to justice
Financial accountability: audit and financial control
Performance accountability and performance measurement
Administrative accountability: complaints and role of Ombudsman
Transparency and freedom of information
Ethics and codes of conduct
Conclusion
    Challenges with participative mechanisms
    Challenges with accountability mechanisms

9. Managerial and Administrative Reforms
Strategic Planning
Performance Measurement
Quality Service Initiatives
E-Government
Shared Services
Contracting Out and Privatisation
Efficiency and Productivity Savings

10. Intergovernmental Relations and Multilevel Governance
Mapping Local Government Networks and Interaction
Central–Local Relations
Central government controls on local government
Central–local channels of communication
Local government political channels
Local government representative associations
Central–local informal networks
Local government reform and central–local relations
Local Government–Local Government Relations
Local Government–Local Agency Relations
Cross-Border Relations
Local–Regional Relations
Local–EU Relations
Interdependency, Networks and Multilevel Governance
Conclusion
 

11. Regionalisation
Development of Regional Structures in Ireland
Regional authorities (1994–2014)
Regional assemblies (1999–2014)
Current Regional Assemblies
Regional planning
Management of EU-funded regional operational programmes
Oversight of local government
Other responsibilities
‘City Regions’, Metropolitan Areas, Gateways and Hubs
Regionalisation in the Wider Public Service
Conclusion

12. Europeanisation
Overview of EU Law and Decision-Making
EU law and legislation
Role of EU institutions
Subsidiarity, the EU and Local Government
The EU’s Regulatory Impact on Local Government
EU directives and local government
Implementation and enforcement of EU directives
The EU’s Funding Impact on Local Government
The EU and Local Economic Development
The EU and Institution-Building in Ireland
Local Government and EU Policymaking
EU and domestic channels
Local government mobilisation
Conclusion

13. Comparing Irish Local GovernmentLocal Government Traditions
Territorial Structure of Local Government
Executive Models: Mayors, Cabinets, Councils and Managers
Local Government Functions
Local Government Finance
Intergovernmental Relations
Managerial Reforms and Local Government
Participation and Local Government
European Charter of Local Self-Government
Conclusion

14. Localism and Centralism in Ireland
Centralist and Localist Traditions in Ireland: A Paradox
Uniformity and Diversity
Centralisation and Decentralisation
Political Centralism
Administrative Centralism
Functional Centralism
Financial Centralism
The ‘Nuclear Option’
Conclusion

15. The Future of Local Government
Challenges that Lie Ahead
‘Stepping Back’ and ‘Stepping Up’?
New Expectations and New Profiles
Four Themes for Local Government’s Future?
Efficient local government
Participative local government
Leading local government
Empowered local government
Conclusion

Appendices

  • Appendix 1 Text of Article 28A of Bunreacht na hÉireann
  • Appendix 2 Text of the European Charter of Local Self-Government
  • Appendix 3 Note on Terminology and Older Titles
  • Appendix 4 List and Number of Members of County, City, and City and County Councils in 2017
  • Appendix 5 List and Number of Members of Municipal Districts in 2017
  • Appendix 6 List and Number of Members of Regional Assemblies in 2017
  • Appendix 7 NUTS Classification of Regional Structures within Selected EU States in 2016
  • Appendix 8 Central Authorities and Ministers Responsible for Local Government
  • Appendix 9 Population of Counties and Cities, 2011 and 2016
  • Appendix 10 Individual Incomes by County, 2006 and 2014
  • Appendix 11 Turnout in Local Elections by County and City in 2014
  • Appendix 12 Note on Sources of Information and Websites

References

Index

Local Government in the Republic of Ireland

What the book is about

The importance and potential of local government in Ireland is often understated. Local government plays a vital, even if undervalued, role in Ireland’s system of government. Members of the public – the citizens served by local government – often remain unaware of its impact on their daily lives until vital services such as roads are negatively affected by severe weather conditions or a controversial planning decision is made.

Local Government in the Republic of Ireland is a valuable resource for those with an interest in knowing more about how our system of local government works, including students, practitioners, and those who regularly interact with local councils. It explains the geographic basis for county council and city council areas; how local councils are elected; and the role of local councillors and the executive/staff in local government. The book provides an overview of the services provided, financing, participation, and accountability in local government. How local government interacts with central government, a range of different public bodies, regional structures, and the European Union is also examined.

Ireland’s system is assessed in the context of local government systems internationally. The book also explores more recent developments, such as the introduction of the local property tax, debates over directly elected mayors, metropolitan governance and the role of ‘city regions’, and local government’s new role in economic development and enterprise support.

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
List of Tables and Figures
List of Abbreviations

1. The Role of Local Government
Local Government as an Instrument of Local Democracy
Local Government as a Provider of Services
Local Government as an Agent of Central Government
Local Government as a Local Regulator
Local Government as a Local Leader and Coordinator within ‘Local Governance’
Local Government and the Constitution
Conclusion

2. The Evolution and Reform of Local Government
Origins of Irish Local Government
The Inheritance: The 1898 Local Government System
Local Government during the Struggle for Independence
Local Government in the Irish Free State
Postwar Local Government
Local Government Reform Initiatives since the 1990s
Conclusion

3. Local Government Areas and Territory
Local Government Structures: County and City Councils
Municipal Districts
Other Local Agencies and Bodies
Pre-2014 Territorial Restructuring
Proposals for Territorial Reform
The 2014 Reforms
Proposed Reforms in Cork and Galway
The Resilience of the County
Conclusion

4. The Local Council and Elected Councillors
Role of Elected Council and Councillor
Reserved functions and policy
Adopting bye-laws
Scrutiny and oversight of the executive
Representing constituents and the local community
Part-time role?
Nominations to Other Bodies
Local Councillors
Profiling local councillors
Political parties and independents
Council Meetings
Council Structures and Committees
The mayor/cathaoirleach
Municipal districts and area committees
Strategic Policy Committees
Other committees
Corporate Policy Group
Decision-Making in Local Councils
Number of Councillors and Representational Levels
Local Elections
Election campaigns and the local elections process
Election turnout
A distinct electorate: citizens and resident
Five-year term of office
Ending dual national and local representation
Vacancies on the council
Removal of elected council by central government
Debate over a Stronger Political Executive/Directly Elected Mayors
Conclusion: The Local Council as Fixers, Policymakers and Representatives

5. The Local Executive
Origins and Evolution of the Management System
Appointment and Tenure of Chief Executive
Role of Chief Executive
Executive functions
Relations with the elected council
Balance of power between elected council and chief executive
Relations with the wider local community
Relations with national government
Day-to-day tasks and demands
Local Government Staff
Directors of service and management teams
Staffing levels
Staff recruitment and mobility
Human resource management and staff appraisal
Conclusion

6. Local Government Functions and Services Housing
Provision of local authority housing
Housing maintenance, estate management and urban renewal
Voluntary housing associations
Homelessness
Traveller accommodation
Future challenges
Roads and Transport
Road construction
Road maintenance
Traffic management and road safety
Collection of motor tax
Public transport and sustainable development
Future challenges
Spatial and Land Use Planning
Forward planning
Development management
Planning enforcement
Heritage and conservation
Building control, regeneration and other regulatory powers
Future challenges
Environmental Protection and Waste Management
Sustainable development
Climate change
Waste management
Litter
Water pollution
Air and noise pollution
Environmental awareness and promotion
Future challenges
Fire Services and Emergency Planning
Fire brigade
Civil defence
Recreational and Cultural Services
Public libraries
Arts and culture
Parks, playgrounds, sport and recreation
Education, Health and Agriculture
Planning for schools and education provision
Education and Training Boards
Higher education grants
Regional health fora
Coroner service
Veterinary services and animal control and welfare
Economic Development and Enterprise Support
Local Development
Towards greater coordination of local development
Local Community Development Committees
Other Services and Activities
Register of electors
Joint Policing Committees
General Competence
Coordination of childcare, children and youth services
Broadband provision
Conclusion
 

7. Local Government Finance
Capital Expenditure
Current Expenditure
Local Government Revenue
Local Property Tax
Commercial Rates
Service Charges
Central Government Grants
Local Government Fund
Equalisation
Specific purpose grants
Other Revenue Sources
The Budgetary ProcessAnnual Financial Statement
Financial Management and Audit
Reviews of Local Government Financing
Early reviews
KPMG review, 1996
Indecon review, 2005
Commission on Taxation review, 2009
Local Government Efficiency Review, 2010
Conclusion

8. Democratic and Accountability Reforms
Local Democracy and Participation
Participative reform proposals in local government
Public Participation Networks
Local Community Development Committee
Fora for young people and the elderly
Joint Policing Committees
Other participative mechanisms
Statutory consultation
Accountability in Local Government
Accountability to the electorate
Accountability to the elected councilAccountability to central government departments and agencies
Legal accountability: the courts and access to justice
Financial accountability: audit and financial control
Performance accountability and performance measurement
Administrative accountability: complaints and role of Ombudsman
Transparency and freedom of information
Ethics and codes of conduct
Conclusion
    Challenges with participative mechanisms
    Challenges with accountability mechanisms

9. Managerial and Administrative Reforms
Strategic Planning
Performance Measurement
Quality Service Initiatives
E-Government
Shared Services
Contracting Out and Privatisation
Efficiency and Productivity Savings

10. Intergovernmental Relations and Multilevel Governance
Mapping Local Government Networks and Interaction
Central–Local Relations
Central government controls on local government
Central–local channels of communication
Local government political channels
Local government representative associations
Central–local informal networks
Local government reform and central–local relations
Local Government–Local Government Relations
Local Government–Local Agency Relations
Cross-Border Relations
Local–Regional Relations
Local–EU Relations
Interdependency, Networks and Multilevel Governance
Conclusion
 

11. Regionalisation
Development of Regional Structures in Ireland
Regional authorities (1994–2014)
Regional assemblies (1999–2014)
Current Regional Assemblies
Regional planning
Management of EU-funded regional operational programmes
Oversight of local government
Other responsibilities
‘City Regions’, Metropolitan Areas, Gateways and Hubs
Regionalisation in the Wider Public Service
Conclusion

12. Europeanisation
Overview of EU Law and Decision-Making
EU law and legislation
Role of EU institutions
Subsidiarity, the EU and Local Government
The EU’s Regulatory Impact on Local Government
EU directives and local government
Implementation and enforcement of EU directives
The EU’s Funding Impact on Local Government
The EU and Local Economic Development
The EU and Institution-Building in Ireland
Local Government and EU Policymaking
EU and domestic channels
Local government mobilisation
Conclusion

13. Comparing Irish Local GovernmentLocal Government Traditions
Territorial Structure of Local Government
Executive Models: Mayors, Cabinets, Councils and Managers
Local Government Functions
Local Government Finance
Intergovernmental Relations
Managerial Reforms and Local Government
Participation and Local Government
European Charter of Local Self-Government
Conclusion

14. Localism and Centralism in Ireland
Centralist and Localist Traditions in Ireland: A Paradox
Uniformity and Diversity
Centralisation and Decentralisation
Political Centralism
Administrative Centralism
Functional Centralism
Financial Centralism
The ‘Nuclear Option’
Conclusion

15. The Future of Local Government
Challenges that Lie Ahead
‘Stepping Back’ and ‘Stepping Up’?
New Expectations and New Profiles
Four Themes for Local Government’s Future?
Efficient local government
Participative local government
Leading local government
Empowered local government
Conclusion

Appendices

  • Appendix 1 Text of Article 28A of Bunreacht na hÉireann
  • Appendix 2 Text of the European Charter of Local Self-Government
  • Appendix 3 Note on Terminology and Older Titles
  • Appendix 4 List and Number of Members of County, City, and City and County Councils in 2017
  • Appendix 5 List and Number of Members of Municipal Districts in 2017
  • Appendix 6 List and Number of Members of Regional Assemblies in 2017
  • Appendix 7 NUTS Classification of Regional Structures within Selected EU States in 2016
  • Appendix 8 Central Authorities and Ministers Responsible for Local Government
  • Appendix 9 Population of Counties and Cities, 2011 and 2016
  • Appendix 10 Individual Incomes by County, 2006 and 2014
  • Appendix 11 Turnout in Local Elections by County and City in 2014
  • Appendix 12 Note on Sources of Information and Websites

References

Index

By: Mark Callanan ISBN: 978-1-910393-23-9

Published: Thursday 20, September 2018. 468 Pages


€40.00

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