Local democracy and local officials

Sir, – There have been a number of recent letters (August 17th, 18th) in The Irish Times in relation to local democracy, cycle paths and public health. I believe the vast majority of people, including myself, are for more and better cycle paths, both in the short term, given the Covid-19 emergency, and in the longer term for more, healthier and safer cycling and walking, thus reducing the traffic on our roads in a sensible and pragmatic way.

In making decisions on cycle paths, democracy means that all views should be taken into account, and elected officials can then make informed decisions, having weighed up the pros and cons of all options and the views of the public and other stakeholders.

It does not mean elected or unelected officials are entitled to avoid due process and ignore professional advice and public opinion to make unilateral decisions for whatever reason they think is appropriate.

I hope the principles of democracy will be applied in assessing future cycle paths to avoid even more letters on the subject. – Yours, etc,



Sandymount, Dublin 4.