ianna Fáil Dublin South West TD and Spokesperson for Dublin, John Lahart has said that the bill to introduce a directly elected Mayor of Dublin was developed by his party to strengthen democracy and local governance.

The bill aims to legislate for a key part of the Fianna Fáil general election manifesto commitment to give fresh leadership to local communities with directly elected Mayor.

Deputy Lahart moved his legislation ‘Local Government (Amendment) (Directly Elected Mayor of Dublin) Bill 2016’ last month and it will be debated during Private Members Business at 8pm this evening.

Speaking ahead of the debate, he said, “Currently Dublin has 4 local authorities, 4 chief executives, 4 mayors, 183 councillors, and countless State agencies in Dublin, often competing against each other rather than together. A Directly elected Mayor would provide singular leadership to this structure.

“It is vital that we provide for a new, more co-ordinated, collaborative approach with one overall figure in office. A new, directly elected Mayor will move beyond ceremonial purpose and into the position to concentrate on forming policy, allocating resources, alleviating problems in planning, housing, transport and other critical issues in the Capital.

“This Bill is clear and concise in its intention. It provides for an Act to enable the holding of a plebiscite, a vote of all eligible voters in the four administrative areas of Dublin, to decide whether legislation should be brought forward to provide for an office of directly elected Mayor.

“The timeline for the proposal is explicit and if the plebiscite is passed, then elections for a directly-elected Mayor will be held in conjunction with the Local and European Elections in 2019.

“Once the process is approved, the people of Dublin – stakeholders and citizens with an interest in the future of the Capital – will be empowered, through the public consultation process embedded in the proposal. They will be provided the opportunity to shape and influence the powers that an executive Directly Elected Mayor would be entitled to exercise.

“My proposals are strictly designed to enable and empower the people of Dublin to decide themselves whether they want to elect a Mayor for all the Capital. It will be the first such opportunity for the people of Dublin to decide in such a way,” concluded Deputy Lahart.