Public consultation process for directly elected Mayor

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WHAT do you want from a directly elected Mayor of Limerick?

That is the question now being asked this week after a public consultation exercise was launched by Mayor Michael Collins, and the Minister of State for Local Government  Peter Burke.

Since it was established at the end of 2019, the Independent Advisory Group, formed to advise the Minister on the establishment of a directly elected mayor, has been working to shape a new local authority with a directly elected mayor that will deliver fresh possibilities for Limerick. The Group will report to the Minister later this year.

As part of this report, a public consultation exercise was commissioned from and developed by Professor Maura Adshead and her team in the Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Limerick.

“On 24 May 2019, the people of Limerick voted to be the first county in Ireland where people will directly elect their mayor. We are now asking the people to think about the potential of that role for Limerick and to tell us what they would like of their new Mayor,” said Mayor Collins.

“Limerick has a reputation for being at the forefront of innovation and driving change in the local government sector. And once again here we are going to become the first county with a directly elected mayor. I’m encouraging everyone to have their say and together with our partners in UL we have developed a new and exciting way for people to do that.”

Minister of State Peter Burke believes that this exercise in public participation gives individuals and communities across Limerick the opportunity to help shape the new role of directly elected mayor, in advance of mayoral elections planned for next year.

“We want the people of Limerick to be involved and invested in this major reform project, which offers huge potential for their City and County. We encourage everyone in Limerick to participate in shaping this new role of Mayor,” he said.

Chairman of the Implementation Advisory Group, Limerick-man Tim O’Connor who is a former career diplomat and Secretary General to the President welcomed the launch of the public consultation.

“The  Advisory Group has commissioned the University of Limerick to create a forum for people to engage with our work. The Covid-19 emergency has meant that this will be no ordinary public consultation. An exciting new digital way of asking the public, what they want, has been especially created for this exercise. It will be visual, interactive and provides real-time feedback. People can participate as part of a community group, with their family and friends, or as individuals,” said Mr O’Connor.

The online consultation can be accessed at https://ourmayor.limerick.ie.