Raft of mergers key to council reform
MAJOR changes to the local authority system will take effect from June 1, which will result in the abolition of the country's 84 town and borough councils and a sharp reduction in the number of elected members.
The number of local authorities will reduce from 114 to 31, and the number of councillors from 1,627 to 949.
In some cases, the number of councillors on each of the 31 local authorities will increase. For example, the number in Dublin City Council will rise from 52 to 63.
In other cases, they will fall. Westmeath will have 20 councillors after June 1, compared with 23 today.
Some local authorities are being merged. Limerick City and County will form one local authority, called Limerick City and County Council, while North and South Tipperary are also being merged to form Tipperary County Council.
Waterford city and county are also being merged, and will be called Waterford City and County Council.
The Government has also revised local electoral areas, which will be merged into constituencies called "municipal districts", which it claims will involved more balanced representation and less variation in the ratio of councillors to population across the country.
The total number of local electoral areas nationally is 137, while 95 municipal districts have been designated. The municipal district corresponds with the electoral area except in the case of the Dundalk, Kilkenny City, and Mullingar municipal districts, each of which will comprise two electoral areas.
There will also be new regional assemblies, to replace the current eight regional authorities and two assemblies.
City and county development boards will be replaced with Local Community Development Committees.