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37 2001



Local Authorities and the Local Community

Consultation with the local community.

127. —(1) A local authority may take such steps as it considers appropriate to consult with and promote effective participation by the local community in local government.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) a local authority may—

(a) undertake such action under section 64 as the authority may consider appropriate,

(b) establish strategic policy committees or a municipal policy committee in accordance with Part 7,

(c) consult with local sectoral, community or other groups,

(d) arrange for the representation on area or other relevant committees of the authority of persons having knowledge or experience of relevance to the work of the particular committee,

(e) consult with a recognised association under section 128 ,

(f) make arrangements for attendance and raising of issues by interested persons at meetings of the authority or of any of its committees in accordance with such rules as may be determined by resolution of the authority,

(g) arrange for the holding of information meetings and the dissemination of information to the public in relation to any matter connected with its functions.

(3) (a) Where in relation to any function of a local authority under this or under any other enactment the relevant enactment requires the publication of a notice in a newspaper and the invitation of submissions or observations in connection with the performance of that function, the local authority may take such additional steps as it may consider appropriate to publicise, facilitate or promote the consultation process including the use of other forms of communications, including local radio stations, and the use of electronic forms of communication.

(b) A local authority may, in respect of reports, plans or any other material in relation to the performance of its functions, arrange for the making available or display of such materials at suitable locations additional to those required by this or any other enactment.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be read as limiting or departing from the role of a local authority as an elected body.

Recognised associations.

128. —(1) A local authority may declare that any body, whether corporate or unincorporate, be a recognised association for the purposes of this section where the local authority is of the opinion that the body is concerned with promoting the interests of the local community, or any part of or group within the local community, or of all or a part of the administrative area of that local authority.

(2) A local authority may—

(a) consult a recognised association on any relevant matter,

(b) provide assistance in money or in kind to such association,

(c) make arrangements with a recognised association under section 13(6) of the Roads Act, 1993 , or Chapter 4 of Part 9

(d) enter into an agreement in writing with a recognised association for the carrying out by the association on behalf of the local authority of certain functions of the authority which in its opinion may be satisfactorily carried out by the recognised association, subject to such terms, conditions, restrictions and other requirements as the authority considers necessary and specifies in the agreement.

(3) Subsection (2)(d) does not apply in respect of a reserved function, the function to make arrangements under section 13(6) of the Roads Act, 1993 , or Chapter 4 of Part 9 or any other function as the Minister may prescribe by regulations.

(4) Any works or other thing carried out or done by a recognised association in good faith as a result of an agreement made under subsection (2)(d) and in accordance with every requirement of such agreement shall be regarded as if the works or other thing was duly authorised, carried out or done by the local authority.

(5) For the purposes of subsections (1) and (2), a local authority may have regard as to whether in its opinion—

(a) a body is properly constituted and representative,

(b) adequate financial and accounting arrangements are in place, and

(c) the body is in a position to comply with such requirements as the local authority may in all the circumstances of the case consider necessary and reasonable for such purposes.

(6) A declaration under subsection (1) is a reserved function.

(7) The Minister may by regulations prescribe such matters relating to recognised associations as he or she considers appropriate for the purpose of giving effect to this section including the procedures to be followed for the termination of an agreement under subsection (2)(d).

County or City Development Boards.

129. —(1) There shall be established, by order of the Minister under this subsection, in each county and city a body to be known as the “.......County Development Board” or “.......City Development Board” as the case may be (in this section referred to as the “Board”) with the name of the appropriate county or city prefixed.

(2) A Board shall, in so far as is provided by this section, operate under the aegis of the relevant county council or city council but is otherwise independent in the performance of its functions.

(3) Subject to and in accordance with guidelines issued under subsection (9), the membership of a Board comprises—

(a) the members of the county council's corporate policy group or city council's corporate policy group (as the case may be) and the relevant county manager or city manager;

(b) representatives of public authorities operating in the county or city concerned;

(c) such representatives of social interests, to be known collectively in the context of a Board as the social partners, as may be provided for in such guidelines;

(d) such representatives of publicly funded or supported local development bodies concerned with local enterprise, rural development or community development as may be provided for in such guidelines;

(e) such other persons (if any) as may be provided for by such guidelines.

(4) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), the chairperson of a Board shall be appointed by the Board on nomination by the corporate policy group of the county council or city council concerned from among members of the group.

(b) After the commencement of Chapter 3 of Part 5 the chairperson of the Board shall be the Cathaoirleach of the county council or city council concerned.

(5) The functions of a Board are—

(a) to take such steps, as the Board may consider appropriate, to enable each of the bodies and interests, whose functions affect the economic, social or cultural development of the county or city or any part of the county or city and its people (in this section referred to as the “community”) to provide the maximum benefit each of them can to such development, both individually and collectively;

(b) to draw up a strategy (in this section referred to as the “strategy”) for the economic, social and cultural development of the county or city and the community;

(c) to seek to secure that the policies and operations of the bodies and interests represented on the Board and of others accord generally with the strategy;

(d) to encourage and promote on an ongoing basis the co-ordination of the activities of the bodies and interests represented on the Board and co-operation generally between such bodies and interests so as to optimise resources and combined effort for the common good of the community.

(6) (a) A public authority, local authority, or other body which is represented on a Board, shall in so far as is not inconsistent with the performance of its functions—

(i) co-operate with the Board in its work, and

(ii) endeavour to comply with a request from the Board in respect of information of relevance to its functions.

(b) A Board may make recommendations to any public authority, local authority or other person as to the way in which the policies and programmes of such body or person should develop or operate as regards the county or city concerned and the community.

(c) Subject to the requirements of any other enactment, any public authority, local authority, or body referred to in paragraph (a), shall in the performance of its functions as regards a county or city, have regard to the strategy and to any recommendations made under paragraph (b).

(7) In performing its functions a Board shall have regard to Government policy and shall comply with any general policy directives as may be given to it by the Minister.

(8) The chief officer of a Board shall be an employee of the relevant county council or city council.

(9) The Minister may issue general guidelines for the purposes of this section as regards—

(a) representation on a Board in accordance with subsection (3) and the selection and tenure of such representatives;

(b) the involvement of other bodies and interests in the work of a Board;

(c) the funding and administration of a Board;

(d) the preparation of the strategy and its ratification by the county council or city council concerned;

(e) such other matters as he or she considers appropriate.

(10) A Board has all such powers as are necessary for or incidental to the performance of its functions under this section.

(11) (a) This section applies and has effect in relation to a county development board or a city development board constituted before the commencement of an order under subsection (1).

(b) Any guidelines relating to county development boards and city development boards which were issued by the Minister before the commencement of this section and current at such commencement apply and have effect as if issued under this section.

(c) Guidelines issued under this section may be revised by the Minister from time to time as required, or withdrawn, and new guidelines issued.