Gilmore calls election spending review

The Labour Party Leader Eamon Gilmore has called for spending limits for candidates and parties in the 2009 local elections.

The Labour Party Leader Eamon Gilmore has called for spending limits for candidates and parties in the 2009 local elections.

Mr Gilmore was addressing a national meeting of Labour Party councillors in the Mansion House, Dublin, and said that there must be a review of the imbalance in representation at local level.

The imbalance, he says, can be seen in places like Ballinamore, Co Leitrim enjoying a ratio of one councillor per 1,112 people, while Mulhuddart in Fingal had just one councillor for every 13,327 people as an example of the imbalance he wants to see addressed.

Deputy Gilmore said that it was quite impossible for a part-time councillor to meet the needs of such a large constituency and warned that the workload was driving some councillors out of local government.

Welcoming the review of local government by Environment Minister John Gormley, Mr Gilmore said it doesn’t go far enough, as none of the changes will come into effect before the local and European elections

"I believe that we cannot wait until then to begin rebuilding trust and faith in local government. Local government has been severely wounded by the corruption scandals of the past, and, in some places, the continued failure to act in the best interests of local people and the local environment," said Mr Gilmore.

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