City council may face disbandment

 

Dublin City Council could be disbanded in the new year because of its failure to agree on a budget which includes a 29 per cent increase in bin charges.

Councillors defied the city manager, Mr John Fitzgerald, last night by refusing to accept his book of estimates for the coming year. All 52 councillors are now in danger of being dismissed at the end of the year and a commissioner put in their place.

Twenty-seven councillors voted against the budget which would see household waste-management charges rise from €121 to €156; 22 voted against the budget and three were absent.

Labour, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and the independent councillors voted against, while Fianna Fáil, the largest party on the council, and the two Green councillors supported the motion.

Although all parties voted en bloc, the Lord Mayor, Mr Dermot Lacey (Lab), defied his party whip and supported the budget. He now faces possible expulsion from the party. Mr Lacey said:"I am prepared to honour my commitment that I would do nothing to harm the life of this council and it is not in the interest of Dublin city that it is run by a single person, a commissioner."