Citizens’ Assembly backs directly elected Boris-style mayor for Dublin


The Citizens’ Assembly voted for a powerful, directly elected mayor for Dublin, with sweeping powers in areas ranging from housing to healthcare, transport to the environment.

Today’s round of polls paves the way for the people of Dublin to elect a mayor who can push through transformational initiatives in the capital, like London’s Sadiq Khan or Boris Johnson and Anne Hidalgo from Paris.

The assembly was created to consider constitutional changes and has previously considered issues such as abortion and the environment.

The 99 citizen members are chosen from the public and, after hearing presentations from experts and politicians from other cities, they vote on a series of motions put before them.

The Citizens’ Assembly on a Directly Elected Mayor for Dublin concluded its final plenary meeting at Dublin Castle this afternoon and subsequently voted in favor of a Directly Elected Mayor for Dublin.

Responsibility for housing, homelessness, community health care, transport, environment and emergency services were among the 15 areas recommended to be delegated immediately to a new mayor, along with six others areas, including police, water and education, which were recommended to be delegated after five to ten years. .

Members also supported holding a referendum on the creation of the post of directly elected mayor before its creation and recommended the new local government structures that would be needed.

A full report and recommendations from the meeting will be prepared and sent to the Oireachtas for consideration.

Currently, each local authority area in Dublin has a mayor chosen from elected councillors, but there is no directly elected mayor directly by the public as there is in London.

In 2019 pilot votes were held in Cork, Limerick and Waterford on whether to introduce a directly elected mayor, but only Limerick voted for it, with legislation allowing the first mayor to be elected in Limerick to be ready to go. time for next year.

Speaking after today’s meeting, Dublin Assembly Speaker, former Dublin football manager Jim Gavin said: “I would like to thank all members of the Assembly who have given of their time and weekends since we began our work in April for their commitment, hard work and passion in service to the great city and county of Dublin.

“They have carefully questioned and understood our terms of reference to recommend what type of directly elected mayor is appropriate for Dublin. In doing so, they voted to create a powerful and substantial figurehead to lead, represent and account for our capital, like other major international cities.

“Assembly members have spoken loud and clear about local government reform. Their recommendations will represent a major change in the way our city is run and will, I believe, transform Dublin for the better.

“This citizens’ assembly was really ‘An Tionol Saoranach’ – a gathering of free people. These people, who truly love Dublin, have given their time and effort to this House to make this city and county the best possible place to live, work and raise a family. We are now preparing our official report and I look forward to engaging with the Houses of Oireachtas on the rapid implementation of the recommendations”.

Over five ballots today, the assembly voted to delegate 21 areas of responsibility to a directly elected mayor.

He voted:

  • That there be a plebiscite on the creation of the office, its powers and its structures, before the election of the mayor;
  • That the mayor serve up to two terms of five years each;
  • That there should be a mechanism to remove the mayor, either by councilors or by the public;
  • That the mayor has the power to raise funds in the markets, that he retains funds from taxes paid in Dublin and that he can introduce local taxes;
  • That the election criteria must be consistent with those of councillors;
  • That nominations for mayor could be obtained through various methods, including an appropriate number of solemn declarations of support from the electorate and an appropriate financial deposit;
  • That persons registered on the Dublin local electoral rolls be allowed to vote;
  • The assembly also voted that all Dublin councilors should be appointed full-time; and that they should all have secretarial support.
  • They also voted in favor of a new local government structure including a deputy mayor; a cabinet for the mayor; an assembly of the city and county of Dublin; and a permanent Dublin Citizens’ Assembly chosen from Dublin councilors and residents.
  • The assembly also said the government should respond to the Citizens’ Assembly report within six months and implement its recommendations within two years.
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