Jan 24, 2024 | Nationwide News

A public information campaign ‘Your Council’ aims to provide more information and build greater awareness of the role of council and councillors.

The initiative was recently launched in Waterford by Minister for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell, who noted: “Local councils and councillors play a vital role in local economic development through supports to and engagement with local businesses. They oversee the development of local areas, including the provision of essential services such as housing, recreation, road maintenance, public lighting and footpaths, biodiversity and water quality management.”

He said that the campaign, in particular, aims to highlight the role of councillors in policymaking, governance and oversight, and as representatives within their local communities.

Welcoming the initiative, Paul Johnston, Acting Director of Services with Waterford City and County Council, described the role of local authorities and local councillors as “extensive” and “multi-faceted”.

“Councillors are at the heart of their communities and robustly represent their constituents. Through their strong local links and interest in their localities, they help bring local issues to the council chamber for address. Councillors also help to shape policy framework within which the local authority’s executive and employees work.”

Johnston said that his council is guided by the principles of the city and county development plans, local economy and community plans, national policies and legislation, EU directives and regulations, and increasingly by climate action plans and agendas.

“Moreover, it is governed by 32 elected members, who crucially have a political remit to represent their constituents. The local authority provides a whole myriad of services such as housing, libraries and fire services, while taking the lead role in economic and social development, managing essential infrastructure and developing and maintaining local amenities and services. It’s a broad and sometimes challenging remit, but one that our 800-strong staff takes pride in.”

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