A directly elected regional mayor for Dublin, as well as elected mayors for all counties and cities, are among new proposals for the reform of local government published today by the Minister for the Environment.

John Gormley said he favoured the London model where a mayor is directly elected for the city with executive powers.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's News At One, Mr Gormley also said that a mayor here should have the power to impose a congestion charge if necessary.

The Green Paper proposes the introduction of a Regional Mayor for Dublin, elected directly by the people of Dublin, with strategic functions including planning, housing, waste, water provision and waste water disposal.

The paper, Stronger Local Democracy, proposes that the Mayor would act as Chair of the Dublin Transport Authority.

It also makes the case that greater local leadership, accountability and connection with the citizen can be achieved through the provision of directly elected mayors for all counties and cities.

The possibility of introducing revised structures for local governance for key gateways, such as Limerick, Waterford and Sligo, is also considered.

Examples of revised structures include unitary authorities for county and city, a single elected mayor to lead both county and city, or cross-boundary metropolitan mayors.

The paper proposes that town government can be strengthened by allowing for greater devolution of local decisions from county to town level, within overall county level strategies.

A range of initiatives are discussed to allow local people to play a greater role in local decision making, including local plebiscites, petition rights, participatory budgeting and town meetings.

Stronger Local Democracy stresses the need for continuous change, flexibility and imagination in service delivery. Greater movement towards the sharing services between local authorities is also advocated.

The paper also sets out the issues for debate on the financing of local government which will feed into the work of the recently established Commission on Taxation.

Options for the introduction of local election spending limits are proposed, as is greater oversight of local government ethics compliance by the Standards in Public Office Commission.