Home News Councillors ‘should be given the power to tackle local problems’

Councillors ‘should be given the power to tackle local problems’

James Kelly at Offtech headquarters in Kilkenny where he is a director. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Laois County Councillor James Kelly has said that local representatives should have more power to deal with problems in their area.

The Mountrath-based councillor, speaking in an interview with LaoisToday, expresses his frustration with the current system and says that the local municipal areas should have more power to deal with issues as they “know their areas best of all”.

“It is said that in Ireland we don’t have local government that we have local administration,” he says in an interview that is part of LaoisToday’s My Life in Politics series.

Kelly is one of six councillors that serve the Mountmellick/Borris-in-Ossory Municipal District.

“Last year 2019 we celebrated the 120th anniversary of the first local elections and in the past there were a lot more local authorities than the 31 areas we have now.

“It is my opinion that larger local authorities with strained resources will not yield the improvements, savings or efficiencies that is required.

“Municipal areas should be granted more power instead of being glorified area committees of the county councils.

“Local elected representatives know their areas best of all and they should be given the power to tackle local problems appropriately.”

In a wide-ranging interview that will be published in full on Monday, Cllr Kelly looks back on his early political memories, the politicians he most admires and how he almost contested the most recent General Election.

The full My Life in Politics interview with James Kelly will appear on LaoisToday on Monday, May 18.

SEE ALSO – ‘Health services should be controlled by local government’ says Laois county councillor

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he's happiest when he's telling stories or kicking a point.