Worker's Party and Green Party take opposite sides in mayor debate 

Worker's Party and Green Party take opposite sides in mayor debate 
The City Hall, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

THE Workers’ Party has come out against the proposal for a directly-elected Lord Mayor of Cork.

The party is urging people to vote no in the plebiscite, set to be held alongside the local and European elections on May 24.

Cork City North-East councillor Ted Tynan, the party’s only current elected representative in Cork, said the proposal is ill-judged, and merely creates an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy between the elected City Council and the chief executive officer.

He said that if the government was serious about local government reform it would have increased the number of city councillors in Cork or reinstated the town councils abolished in 2014.

“There has been no overwhelming demand for directly-elected mayors in Cork,” he said. “Where that demand has existed for over two decades, in Dublin, the proposal is being referred back to a Citizen’s Assembly type body to thrash out all the issues and undertake widespread public consultation.

“Cork, Limerick and Waterford were however been given a ‘take it or leave it’ proposal with virtually no engagement with the general public.”

Catherine Coffey, the party’s candidate in Cork City North-West, said that the proposal regarding directly elected mayors was a distraction from the real issues and a waste of money.

“It is flabbergasting that millions of are being spent on this half-baked proposal while thousands of people are on Cork City Council’s housing waiting list and many more are either homeless, forced to live in overcrowded conditions or in unsuitable and expensive landlord-owned accommodation,” she said.

Meanwhile, The Green Party is to hold a meeting in Glanmire on the plebiscite to promote a yes vote.

Oliver Moran, the party’s Cork City North-East candidate, said it is important to show how a directly-elected mayor will make a difference on issues that matter on the ground in local communities.

“It will be the mayor that sets the schedule of council works from patching roads and putting in traffic calming measures to housing maintenance and landscaping green areas,” he said. “This is the bread and butter of local communities. The issues every candidate and councillor hears on the doorsteps. But that right now is done by the unelected CEO.”

The meeting will take place on Monday, May 13 at 8pm in the Riverstown Community Centre.

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