Thursday 18 January 2018

Our councillors are not our 'fixers' despite the self-serving posturing

The whole charade is not all their fault – we buy into it with every request we make.

Local councillors are only too glad to give the impression that they are the ‘fixers’, like Pat Shortt’s character Willie Power in Killinaskully
Local councillors are only too glad to give the impression that they are the ‘fixers’, like Pat Shortt’s character Willie Power in Killinaskully

Emer O'Kelly

A number of years ago, shortly after I bought my house, there was a minor issue in the area concerning street lighting. It got sorted fairly quickly and efficiently. And shortly after that, I received, as I presume everyone in the area received, communications from every local councillor from all parties represented on the city council, each of them claiming personal, total, and sole credit for "intervening" and "achieving" the result. It was an interesting insight into the way local politics operate.

I am prepared to accept that local councillors in small towns and rural areas may indeed have some power. In the cities they have none; that is why, presumably, local politics in cities are such a dog-eat-dog operation.

It is the paid executive, the city managers and their heads of department who make the decisions as to what work is carried out and when it is carried out. Local councillors may well write letters and then clog up the mails by writing to residents enclosing copies of the letters they have sent to the paid executive. But it's a dance of death, and achieves nothing.

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