Local Government Act, 2001


Establishment of New Town Councils, etc.

Establishment of town council.

185.—(1) For the purposes of this section—

“qualified electors” means a person who in relation to the town in question—

(a) is registered as a local government elector in the register of electors for the time being in force, or

(b) not being so registered, is the rated occupier of a hereditament other than a hereditament the valuation of which attracts an allowance equal to full abatement of rates under section 3 of the Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act, 1978 .

(2) (a) Qualified electors of a town having a population of at least 7,500 as ascertained at the last preceding census or such other figure as the Minister may from time to time prescribe by regulations, and not having a town council, may make a proposal in accordance with paragraph (b) for the establishment of such a council.

(b) A proposal under this subsection shall—

(i) be made in writing and submitted to the county council in whose county the town is situated,

(ii) be signed by at least 100 qualified electors for the town or 10 per cent of the total number of such electors, whichever is greater (in this section referred to as the “applicants”),

(iii) include a map showing the built-up area and the boundaries proposed for the town,

(iv) set out an indication of the likely costs of the proposed town council and the likely implications, financial, organisational and other, for both the town and the county council,

(v) comply with such other requirements as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister.

(3) At the time of the submission of the proposal, the applicants or one or more of them shall lodge in a single sum £1,000 with the county council or such other sum as the Minister may from time to time prescribe by regulations.

(4) (a) The county council shall publish a public notice indicating that it has received a proposal for the establishment of a town council.

(b) A notice under this subsection is to state—

(i) that a copy of the proposal may be inspected at a stated place and at stated times during a stated period of not less than one month,

(ii) that submissions or observations with respect to the proposal made to the county council within the said stated period will be considered,

(iii) that any person who makes submissions or observations may include in it a request to be given an opportunity to state his or her case before a person or persons appointed by the council.

(c) The county council shall take all such steps as are necessary for paragraph (b) to have full effect.

(5) Following consideration of the proposal and of any written and oral submissions or observations made under this section the council shall decide—

(a) to accept the proposal,

(b) to accept it subject to specified modifications, including alteration of the proposed boundaries,

(c) not to accept it, or

(d) to put forward proposals other than the establishment of a town council to provide improved local government for the town.

(6) A decision under subsection (5) is a reserved function and the record of the decision shall set out the reasons for the decision.

(7) Where a county council has made a decision under subsection (5) it shall submit the proposal, any submissions or observations made to the county council and the council's decision to the Local Government Commission.

(8) (a) The Local Government Commission shall consider the material submitted to it under subsection (7) and such other matters as it may consider relevant and shall prepare a report on the proposal with its recommendation and furnish such report to the Minister.

(b) The Local Government Commission may recommend—

(i) that a town council be established subject to such conditions (including alteration of proposed boundaries) as it may specify,

(ii) that it not be established, or

(iii) that such other steps as it may specify be taken by the county council in relation to the town.

(9) Where the Local Government Commission have recommended that a town council be established the Minister may by order provide for the establishment of the town council and such order may, subject to subsection (11), include provision for—

(a) any matter or thing for which provision may be made by order under section 62 ,

(b) the holding of the first election of town councillors in accordance with section 186 and with the Local Elections Acts, 1974, to 2001, subject to any necessary modifications or adaptations,

(c) such other matters as may be necessary arising from or related to such establishment.

(10) Where by virtue of subsection (8) the Local Government Commission recommend that specified steps be taken by a county council in relation to a town the Minister may direct that such steps be taken by the county council concerned as he or she may consider appropriate and specify in writing to that council and that council shall comply with any such direction.

(11) This Act applies to a town council established by order under this section as if such town were a town included in part 2 of Schedule 6.

(12) (a) Where a town council is established, the sum referred to in or prescribed under subsection (3) is to be paid to the town council by the county council concerned.

(b) Where a town council is not established, the sum referred to in or prescribed under subsection (3) is to be applied by the county council concerned in respect of the town for the purposes of section 66 or 67.