Cashel Town Council could be restored under a commitment to consider their re-instatement, the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has told Cllr Tom Wood.
Cllr Wood has repeatedly raised the issue of local democracy and Cashel Town Council at Municipal District level since their abolition by then Minister Phil Hogan. Eight hundred years of history came to an end in May 2014, when the last Cashel Town Council met, under then Mayor, the late Joe Joe Moloney.
Cllr Wood has said abolition of the Town Councils was “a mistake,” and has been recognised as such by the government since then.
This week, Cllr Wood received a response from Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, outlining the government’s commitment to reconsider establishing the Councils under the programme for government.
“As you no doubt are aware, there is a commitment on this matter in the Programme for a Partnership Government (PPG),” writes Minister Murphy. “The Programme sets out a number of requirements in relation to what the Programme terms “the next wave of local government reform”. This involves a report to Government and the Oireachtas on potential measures to boost local government leadership and accountability, and to ensure that local government structures and responsibilities strengthen local democracy.
“The PPG also indicates specific issues to be considered including reducing the size of local electoral areas and establishing town and borough councils. In relation to the town council aspect, the Programme contains the following statement: “We will also consider (among other things) establishing town and borough councils subject to a local plebiscite and local funding”.
The commitment is, therefore, to consider establishing councils following which, if it is decided (in the context of the report to Government and the Oireachtas) to do so, their establishment would be subject to a local plebiscite and the cost involved would be met through local funding.
“Work on the development of proposals on the various requirements in relation to local government in the Programme for a Partnership Government is proceeding in my Department for inclusion in the report to Government and the Oireachtas. I expect to have proposals in that regard shortly for consideration.”