Councillors will be ‘thrown to the wolves’

An independent member of South Tipperary Co. Council has called on the Minister for Environment & Local Government to consult with the public representatives who will be affected by the merger with some losing their livelihoods due to the cuts in council seats.

An independent member of South Tipperary Co. Council has called on the Minister for Environment & Local Government to consult with the public representatives who will be affected by the merger with some losing their livelihoods due to the cuts in council seats.

Cllr Denis Leahy from Tipperary Town said some councillors who have served as councillors for as much as 20 years will be effectively “thrown to the wolves” and “left in no man’s land” due to the redrawing of local electoral areas and reduction in council seats at the next local election in 2014 when the two councils unite.

He criticised Environment & Local Government Minister Phil Hogan for doing a u-turn on a previous commitment he gave at an Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland conference in Donegal that the number of councillors was not going to be cut in local authorities.

Cllr Leahy pointed out that many councillors serving on South and North Tipperary Co. Councils have made sacrifices such as giving up their day job to concentrate on their role as public representatives.

“Everyone has commitments whether you are full or part time. I regard my position as a councillor as a job. I am paid by South Tipperary Co. Council and am on their pay role for a number of years. Whatever the deal, I hope people won’t lose out, “ he said.