Thursday 22 March 2018

Council reform, yes, but it's going to cost

This week the Government is expected to decide the details of a move heralded as "the biggest reform of local government in the history of the State". The idea seems good and necessary. The reality may prove less attractive.

Since the beginning of the economic crisis, council staffing has been reduced by 8,500 and the pay bill has fallen by €288m. Citizens will be pleased that current proposals include a further reduction of 500 persons and a saving of €24m.

And a country that generally views local democracy with contempt or indifference will not quarrel with the disappearance of 744 councillors as a result of the abolition of town and borough councils.

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