Management posts to be halved under council merger plan

A masterplan unveiled yesterday for the unified Limerick city and county councils provides for the halving of management posts in the new authority.

Management posts to be halved under council merger plan

The new administrative area will be named the Limerick City Metropolitan District.

The plan, drawn up by a group headed by former Kerry Group chief Denis Brosnan, sets the course for unification of both councils up to the election of a single authority in mid-2014.

Under legislation enacted earlier this year, Conn Murray was in August appointed as dual manager for the two authorities, to lead the executive and the re-organisation process.

Specific developments to date have included formulation of service plans, progressing joint policies and practices, staffing and organisational requirements, and the establishment of a new office of regeneration to oversee the redevelopment of four rundown city estates.

Announcing details of the plan, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said that communication and consultation with elected members, staff, and unions would be an important feature of the reorganisation process.

“The momentum of unification is set to continue with announcements on the physical amalgamation of services in 2013. The move towards stronger, unified local government in Limerick is already bearing fruit, not least in economic terms.

“I was happy to announce significant, general purpose grant allocations from the local government fund to Limerick city and county councils for 2013, totalling close to €26m. I am delighted that they have responded positively with a historic reduction of 5% in the city rate level, which should be a great boost for business in Limerick.”

The new authority, Mr Hogan said, would lead a drive toward economic transformation in Limerick. An economic strategy will be published shortly.

Key measures in the plan include:

* The establishment of a Limerick City Metropolitan District with a population of about 100,000;

* Location of the new authority HQ in Limerick City Hall;

* A streamlined management structure for the authority, involving a reduction of about 50% in senior management posts;

* Formulation of a workforce plan, with an anticipated cut of 20% in staffing of the merged authorities in addition to a 20% reduction from 2008 to date;

* The development of joint arrangements with Clare County Council, where warranted.

Paying tribute to the members of the implementation group and its chairman, Mr Brosnan — who also chaired the earlier committee which recommended a council merger — Mr Hogan said: “Denis Brosnan’s reward for the time and commitment he has generously given over the past few years will be the satisfaction of having made a huge contribution.”

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