Municipal Districts to ‘tease’ out draft policy on functions
A Draft policy determining which functions should be carried out by Wicklow’s Municipal Districts will be back on the agenda for one of Wicklow County Council’s upcoming meetings.
The draft has been drawn up to finalise which reserved functions may be performed under S131 (A) (1) (B), Part 2 of the Local Government Act 2001 in respect of the five Municipal Districts.
The policy document has already gone to the Corporate Policy Group (CPG) and will be teased out by each Municipal District before returning on the agenda for a full council meeting.
Speaking at July’s meeting, Cllr Tommy Cullen felt the devolution of powers had to be welcomed.
‘One of the aspects of the policy has to be about rural planning and how our planning concerns in rural Wicklow aren’t the same as Greystones or Bray,’ said Cllr Cullen.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Pat Vance observed that resources also need to be in place at Municipal District level if they are given more power.
After observing the draft, Cllr Miriam Murphy queried why Traveller Housing Accommodation hadn’t been included.
Cllr Edward Timmins was of the opinion that the majority of Councillors wanted to see more power returned to the Municipal Districts.
‘ The general consensus seems to be that as much as possible goes to Municipal Districts where people know what is going on and have local knowledge,’ said Cllr Timmins, who also acknowledged clear planning differences throughout the county.
‘AS a county, we need to acknowledge there are differences regarding rural planning and areas urban. We need to look closely at dividing the county under planning rules. In Kildare, planning rules are different to those in other parts of the county which are closer to Dublin.’
Cllr Joe Behan said: ‘ The decisions should be made at local level and resources should follow the power.’