Chamber News

Dublin Mayor Must Have Real Powers

Nov 17, 2017

A new Dublin Mayor must have real powers if the office is to avoid adding another layer of bureaucracy to local government, according to Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber, which represents businesses in the Greater Dublin Area, was responding to reports that the Government is considering the establishment of a directly elected mayor for the capital city.

Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke said: “We have long argued that Dublin needs integrated local government for the city region as a whole, under the leadership of a strong coordinating body. But what really matters is the remit and powers this person or agency would have, not the personality involved. Businesses need the certainty provided by a holistic long-term plan for the national capital and its hinterland. They have no interest in celebrity politics.”

Mary Rose Burke said: “We welcome the Government’s interest in improving the way Dublin is planned and managed. But if this is done wrong, it could seriously undermine the case for local government reform. Dublin’s business community will be waiting to see what powers that the proposed Mayor would actually have, and how wide her remit would be.”

“It is important that Government delivers real reform here, and not political window-dressing. The global competition for investment, jobs, and talent is now between city regions rather than nation-states. Strong strategic leadership will be crucial to ensuring that Dublin maintains global economic competitiveness in the years to come.” Mary Rose Burke said.

Four directly elected Mayors would be ‘worst of both worlds’
“Four directly elected mayors in Dublin would be the worst of both worlds, exacerbating the problems that already exist. At the moment, there is a real lack of joined-up thinking in our capital city. Creating four personal fiefdoms with competing agendas could be a disaster.” Ms. Burke said.

“The Greater Dublin Area operates as one city region, and is an increasingly integrated economic area. However, the way that it is governed does not reflect this reality. The county of Dublin alone is divided into four local authorities, with four indirectly elected mayors who have little power and change every 12 months. This fosters unsupportive competition rather than cooperation. It undermines efficiency in the everyday workings of the city region, while making it difficult to form long-term plans for Dublin as a whole.”

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