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Local Government (No. 2) Act 2003
Amendments to Principal Act
LOCAL GOVERNMENT (NO. 2) ACT 2003
[This memorandum is not part of the Act and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.]
The main purpose of the Act is to end dual local authority/parliamentary membership from the next local elections in 2004 and to discontinue the arrangements which had been put in place to introduce direct elections of city and county cathaoirligh at that time. The Local Government Act 2001 has been amended accordingly so that from the local elections in 2004 Oireachtas members will be disqualified from local authority membership; and provisions relating to the introduction of direct election of city/county cathaoirligh have been repealed. This Act also provides for various consequential and minor amendments to the 2001 Act and certain other legislation.
Section 2 inserts a new section 13A in the Principal Act to provide that from the local elections in 2004 and thereafter, a member of Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann is disqualified from being elected, or co-opted, or from being a member of a local authority.
Section 3 inserts a new section 237A in the Principal Act which provides for the making of regulations by the Minister with regard to local authorities and their dealings with members of either House of the Oireachtas. The Regulations are to deal with the supply by a local authority of notice, agenda and minutes of meetings; other specified documentation; correspondence; access to information and communication generally. Subsection (4) provides inter alia, that the section does not derogate from the democratic representational function of local authorities or the role of councillors as locally elected public representatives.
Section 4 provides for various amendments to the Principal Act which are listed in the Schedule to this Act. These amendments are largely consequential to the substantive changes to the Principal Act affecting the dual mandate and directly elected cathaoirligh. The amendment to section 167 is however principally to clarify that a code of conduct issued under section 169 of the Principal Act can apply to all employees.
Section 5 effects a minor amendment to section 97 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 which was omitted by the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2002 and which is consequential to other amendments made by the 2002 Act.
Section 6 amends article 125 of the Local Elections Regulations 1995 to provide that a person who is elected to a number of local authorities must indicate which one of those authorities s/he chooses to represent. This follows from section 14 of the Principal Act which prohibits simultaneous membership of local authorities (other than a county and town council). The other amendments to those regulations are largely consequential.
Section 7 repeals Chapter 3 of Part 5 of the Principal Act which provides for the introduction of direct election of county/city cathaoirligh from 2004 onwards. The other repeals effected by this section are consequential on the repeal of that chapter.
Section 8 is a standard provision setting out the short title and collective citation.
An Roinn Comhshaoil agus Rialtais Áitiúil, Meitheamh, 2003.