Adding 50 councillors for Dublin to cost €1m

Wed, Feb 6, 2013, 00:00

Dublin City Council has confirmed 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.

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.

A spokeswoman for the council said there would also be “initial set-up costs” that are not quantifiable at present.

The increases were announced when the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee was established. The number of council seats in Dublin city will rise from 52 to 63.

The city council spokeswoman added that the extra councillors “will be funded in the same way as the current 52 are funded – it will become part of the city council’s annual budget figure”.

The move has been the subject of cross-party criticism from councillors, with Fianna Fáil councillor Paul McAuliffe calling the increase “a gross waste of public money”.

“It’s a gerrymander to ensure sitting Government councillors retain their seats in the next local elections,” he said.

“I understand that this proposal was demanded by the Labour Party in a deal thrashed out between the coalition parties.

‘Missed opportunity’

“Dublin does not need more councillors. It’s not what people want and it’s not good for local government,” said Mr McAuliffe

“The Minister’s proposals are a missed opportunity to provide real reform. International experience tells us that in a large city like Dublin, we actually need fewer councillors who spend more of their time focused on running the city.”