Dublin plan branded ‘unwise’, uncosted and beyond competence of councillors

Council chief estimates cost of implementing ‘ambitious’ agreement as ‘very significant’

Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe received a letter from chief executive Owen Keegan, describing the agreement as ‘very ambitious’.

Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe received a letter from chief executive Owen Keegan, describing the agreement as ‘very ambitious’.

 

Significant elements of an action plan for Dublin, drawn up by the new majority grouping on Dublin City Council, have been branded “unwise”, uncosted and beyond the competence of councillors by chief executive Owen Keegan.

The Dublin Agreement 2019 to 2024 was unveiled earlier this month by Fianna Fáil, the Green Party, Labour and the Social Democrats, who have agreed a voting pact.

It sets out a series of commitments on housing, transport, climate change and litter.

In a letter to Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe dated June 14th, Mr Keegan describes the plan as “very ambitious” and the likely cost of implementing it “very significant”.

I would suggest that it is unwise to promise delivery . . . where there can be no certainty that you will be able to deliver

“However, no effort has been made to cost the various measures and to develop a comprehensive funding plan . . . This strikes me as a serious weakness in the agreement, which could undermine its credibility.”

A “significant number of actions . . . are outside the competence of the city council to deliver” and in other cases “outside the reserved powers of the elected members”.

“I would suggest that it is unwise to promise delivery . . . where there can be no certainty that you will be able to deliver.”

Sinn Féin Cllr Daithí Doolan described the agreement as an “expensive wish-list” with no funding to pay for it.

Proposals

Among the proposals are the ending of the sale of publicly owned land to private developers without a clear cost-benefit justification and the refurbishment of all flat complexes within five years. There is also a call to plant 100,000 trees; pedestrianise College Green; reduce speed limits to 30km/h “on arterial roads”; and an end to the use of non-unionised sub-contractors for council services.

Meanwhile, Mr Keegan said: “I would also caution against being seen to appropriate the powers of other agencies, as such an approach will not be well received . . . and may make them less willing to co-operate with the council.”

Many proposals would need new legislation, he said. “Again I think it may be unwise to commit to actually implementing actions in these cases when there can be no certainty in relation to the required legislative change being delivered.”

He suggests a meeting “between representatives of the controlling group” and “senior management” to go through them.

“I would certainly welcome an opportunity to discuss the issue of policy in relation to land disposal with the group.”

He said he looked forward to working with the members of the controlling group in seeking to ensure the various actions were implemented to the greatest extent possible.