Local Government Act, 2001

Alteration of number of members of local authority.

22.—(1) (a) A county council or a city council may by resolution adopt a proposal (in this section referred to as a “proposal”) for the alteration of the number of members of that council.

(b) A proposal under paragraph (a) and a public notice under paragraph (d) shall specify the current number of members of the authority and the number by which it is proposed to be altered and whether by way of increase or decrease.

(c) It is necessary for the adoption of a proposal under paragraph (a) that at least one-half of the total number of members of the authority vote in favour of the resolution.

(d) Before adopting a proposal the local authority shall invite submissions on it from the public by way of a public notice and the authority shall consider any submissions received.

(e) Following the adoption of a resolution under this subsection a local authority may make application to the Minister for an alteration in the number of members.

(2) Where an application has been duly made to the Minister under subsection (1), the Minister may by order alter the number of members of the county council or city council concerned, whether or not to the extent proposed.

(3) (a) Before deciding whether to make an order under subsection (2), the Minister shall request the Local Government Commission to prepare a report with respect to the application and Part 11 applies to such a request and report.

(b) The Local Government Commission may recommend an alteration otherwise than in accordance with the application to the Minister or that no alteration be made.

(c) A report prepared under paragraph (a) shall include such recommendations as the Local Government Commission may consider appropriate in relation to the alteration of local electoral areas under section 23 and the number of members assigned to each of them.

(4) An order under subsection (2) shall not apply to any local elections which occur within 6 months of the making of the order but shall apply to any subsequent local elections.

(5) (a) A town council to which section 21 (2)(b) applies may by resolution adopt a proposal for the alteration to 12 of the number of members of that council where the population of the town concerned exceeds 15,000 as shown in the most recent census.

(b) Subsections (1) to (4) shall apply with any necessary modifications for the purposes of this subsection.

(6) An application under this section shall not be made to the Minister within 5 years of the decision by the Minister on any previous application by the local authority concerned.