Dublin city councillors back plan to hold poll on directly-elected mayors

Monday 24 March 2014 22.30
The proposal is for an elected mayor with strong executive powers similar to London and New York
The proposal is for an elected mayor with strong executive powers similar to London and New York

Dublin city councillors have voted overwhelmingly in favour of holding a plebiscite for Dubliners to decide if they want a directly-elected mayor.

The vote was 50 in favour with one abstention.

The three other Dublin local authorities will vote next Monday.

The proposal is for an elected mayor with strong executive powers similar to cities such as London and New York.

It has to be passed by a majority of councillors in each of the four Dublin local authorities.

It has been predicted that Fingal councillors will block it.

A directly elected mayor would appoint a cabinet of 11 directors in control of areas such as transport, waste and planning.

However, the mayor would be answerable to a Dublin Assembly made up of councillors, appointed by each of the four local authorities.

It is the proposed devolution of power and transfer of staff from government departments and national bodies such as gardaí, IDA Ireland and Fáilte Ireland that has raised some concern.

Councillors outside Dublin city fear a loss of power under the new arrangements.

If the plan was passed by all four local authorities and then by vote of Dubliners, the Government would have two years to draw up legislation and could introduce changes.