Tipperary county councils to be unified


Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan today announced Tipperary will have a unified county council from the 2014 local elections onward.

The new body, to replace the existing North and South Tipperary councils, will serve a population of 159,000 people (compared with North Tipperary County Council's 70,219 and South Tipperary County Council's 88,433).

North and South Tipperary were among the authorities that the 2010 Local Government Efficiency Review Group report recommended should have joint management arrangements.

It is envisaged a merger will see greater savings and efficiencies, in terms of removing duplication, an integration of administrations and better service delivery. The aim is to cut commercial rates in North Tipperary, currently at €60.13, to the South Tipperary level of €56.77, which is estimated to cost in the region of €389,000.

The decision over the two Tipperary authorities, which were linked under joint management up to 1969, follows the recent announcement of the merger of Limerick City and county councils.

Mr Hogan has announced details of an implementation group to oversee local government reorganisation in Limerick. Legislation will be brought forward by early 2012 to cover transitional management arrangements.

“The measures we have announced in relation to Limerick and Tipperary involve the most significant change in the structure of local government for many years," Mr Hogan said. "They are among the early actions in a wider programme of local government reform and development that I will be developing over the coming months."

The Minister also announced a new temporary “household charge” of €100 per year today. Proposals for the new tax, viewed as a forerunner to a property tax and a water charge, were presented by Mr Hogan to the Cabinet this morning.