Dublin City Councillor Paul McAuliffe has accused An Taoiseach and his government of hypocrisy after they issued a circular this week seeking to ban councillors from discussing planning applications.
‘What he has done is simply incredible, with the eyes of the world watching Mr. Varadkar has made a craven attempt to pretend that planning is in the gift of politicians. You’d find it hard to find it these days from the worst kind of politician at a residents meeting in a parish Hall.’ said McAuliffe
This week Dublin City Councillors were forced to convene a special meeting to discuss a Circular issued by Minister Eoghan Murphy to all Local Authorities which banned Councillors and officials from discussing planning applications at area council meetings.
The circular states that discussing such application ‘could convey an erroneous impression to the public of the role of elected members in the statutory process for deciding on planning applications. Having regard to the foregoing, Part 3 planning application should not be discussed at Municipal District/Area Committee and/or Council meetings prior to the making of decisions on them and the participation of local authority officials in any such discussions is not appropriate in the circumstances.’
‘This circular has caused anger amongst Councillors who accuse the Minister of interfering in local democracy and preventing local authority staff from assisting Councillors and communities from understanding the technical details of large planning applications.
This isn’t about conveying erroneous impressions to the public, its about letting Councillors carry out their role and assisting communities to participate in the planning process. ‘ said McAuliffe
The Special Council Meeting will take place in City Hall on Wednesday 21st