Sunday 16 June 2019

'You'll have no power' - outgoing capital councillor warns hopefuls


Traffic congestion and transport were big issues. Stock image
Traffic congestion and transport were big issues. Stock image
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

A Dublin councillor who is standing down after 10 years has warned new councillors they will have no power to solve the "big local issues" being raised by constituents.

Fine Gael Councillor William Lavelle believes he is saving himself from another five years of frustration by choosing not to run again in his constituency of Lucan.

Mr Lavelle, who was a special adviser to former Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, told the Irish Independent that councillors are often held accountable for unpopular decisions made by State bodies.

"I wish those running in the local elections every success, but in reality the big local issues people are talking about on the doors cannot be solved by us.

"The biggest issue I encountered during my 10 years as a councillor was traffic congestion and the limited transport infrastructure for Dublin. But there was little I could do about it since the power is with bodies like the National Transport Authority, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the central Government.

"Newly elected councillors will find that they are not the ones with the power to act, but will still likely be the ones held accountable by the public," he said.

Despite this, he said being a councillor could still be extremely rewarding and he hoped they would be given more powers.

"I'm greatly going to miss my role as a councillor because I genuinely believe I have acted in the interests of my constituents to the best of my ability," he said.

Irish Independent

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