Council Meeting 12th OCTOBER 2009: Motion on greater public consultation
Greater Public Consultation
It was proposed by Councillor Barry Ward and seconded by Councillor M. Bailey:
“That Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council prior to the implementation of any conceptual plan, master plan or scheme will properly consult local residents on whether or not the scheme or plan is wanted and/or needed; satisfy itself that the scheme makes sense, is cost-effective and will achieve what it sets out to achieve.”
The following report of the Manager, copy of which had been circulated to the Members, was CONSIDERED:
“The primary mechanism through which various Local Area Plans/ Urban Framework Plans and/or capital projects and schemes across the County are initiated is very often via the strategic Development Plan Process – the making of which is a reserved function of the elected members.
In relation to statutory Local Area Plans these are subject to legislation that requires comprehensive public consultation to be carried out, including a pre – draft consultation exercise to determine the views of local residents prior to the preparation of the Plan. The approving of Local Area Plans is again a reserved function of the elected members.
While Urban Framework Plans are non-statutory documents it has been standard practice of this Planning Authority to effect the same rigorous public consultation protocols as currently apply to Local Area Plans. The Manager brings Urban Framework Plans to the Council Chamber for debate by, and the approval of, the elected members.
In relation to the Council’s own Capital Projects and Schemes, these are usually initially flagged in the County Development Plan then subsequently expedited through the vehicle of the Part 8 process as set out in the Planning & Development Acts 2000 – 2008. Again the Part 8 process is subject to statutory public consultation obligations. Any decision to approve, reject, vary or modify a Part 8 scheme is a reserved function of the elected members.
Clearly it is incumbent on the Local Authority, when advancing schemes to ensure these “make sense” and are cost effective and to be able to demonstrate objectively that this is the case. Particularly in the current fiscal climate there are more than adequate budgetary and audit checks and balances in place to satisfy cost effectiveness and “value for money” criteria.”
Following discussion during which Mr. O. Keegan, County Manager responded to Member’s queries the report was NOTED.