The recently announced changes will abolish the 4 Town Councils in Wicklow and replace them with strengthened Area Committees of the County Council. I expect the number of County Councillors to increase from 24 to 32 because of the growth of the County in recent decades. Most Counties outside Leinster will decrease significantly. A Boundary Commission will be set up to decide local boundaries but I expect that the Greater Greystones Area will have 5 or 6 County Councillors instead of the present 9 Town Councillors.
This ‘Area Committee’ will have more power than the present Town Council. I hope that it will be able to focus on town improvements as well as the present arrangements.
There will be substantial administrative savings as, for example, the present 4 Planning Departments in Wicklow will be amalgamated. I was surprised that the Minister did not amalgamate the administration of smaller Counties such as Leitrim and Sligo as this would save considerable overhead expenses. Also I would like to have seen the Council being responsible for appointing the Manager, as in many other Countries, rather than some central body.
This is the first overhaul of Local Government in 110 years and The Minister is to be congratulated in pursuing it in order to increase efficiency.