Local authorities in Ireland are responsible for the provision of public services and facilities such as housing, planning, roads, environmental protection, fire services, and maintaining the electoral register.

Councils also play a significant part in supporting economic development and enterprise at a local level.

There are 31 councils in Ireland, consisting of:

  • 26 county councils
  • 3 city councils
  • 2 city and county councils

Within these, there are 95 municipal districts.

There are 949 councillors in Ireland, who are elected in local government elections every five years.

Councillors have both a legislative/policy role and an advocacy/representative role:

  • Legislative/policy – councillors are responsible for the formulation of policy (but generally not implementation which is the mandate of the chief executive)
  • Advocacy/representative – councillors represent their constituents, who are residents and groups within their ward. They meet with them and address the issues that they raise through advocacy.

Each councillor attends meetings of the full council and the local authority committees of which they are members.

For more information see – https://www.lgiuireland.ie

What does your Local Authority do?

Local authorities are mandated to deliver a diverse range of functions and services.

The Local Government Reform Act redefined the role of local government and introduced structural changes with the implementation of a new Municipal District Structures within each county.

The elected councillors drawn from the various Municipal District electoral areas perform their representational and policy formulation role by way of reserved functions.

Municipal Districts

Each electoral area constitutes a Municipal District and the members elected to the Council represent their Municipal District. The Municipal Districts provide greater scope for local decision making with some reserved functions exercisable at district level. The work programme of the district is set out in the Annual Schedule of Municipal District Works.

Strategic Policy Committees

Membership of the Strategic Policy Committees is drawn from Council members, sectoral and community representatives. The Strategic Policy Committees assist the Council in policy formulation in the areas of :

  • Infrastructure and Environment and Emergency Services
  • Economic Community Development and Enterprise
  • Planning and Development, Cultural Services
  • Housing Services

Corporate Policy Group

The Cathaoirleach of the Council, together with the Chairpersons of the Strategic Policy Committee form the Corporate Policy Group. The Corporate Policy Group have statutory functions including the preparation of the Annual Budget and the preparation of the Corporate Plan. The Corporate Policy Group is supported by the Chief Executive and the Management Team.

Executive Structure

The day-to-day operational matters with policy implementation and service delivery are the responsibility of the Chief Executive. Directors of Service and Head of Finance have responsibility for the following areas

  • Infrastructure, Environmental and Emergency Services
  • Economic & Community Development
  • Corporate Cultural & Recreational Services
  • HR
  • Planning & Building Control
  • Finance and IT
  • Housing and Building
  • Local Community Development Committee

The recently established Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) will develop, co-ordinate and implement a coherent and integrated approach to local and community development.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee is part of the Governance Framework and has an independent role in advising the Council on financial reporting processes, internal control, risk management and audit matters.