For Oral Answer on : 01/12/2022
Question Number(s): 58 Question Reference(s): 59830/22
Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage when it is planned to adjust the local authority boundaries on foot of the recent Census results; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Unlike the position for Dáil and European Parliament constituencies, there is no constitutional or legislative requirement for the revision of local electoral areas, further to the carrying out of a census and the publication of census results.
Section 23 of the Local Government Act 2001 empowers the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to divide a local authority area into local electoral areas and to amend those areas. However, in advance of deciding to make an order under section 23 of the Act, the Minister must, in accordance Part V of the Local Government Act 1991 (as amended), request a boundary committee to make a report having regard to such matters as may be specified by the Minister.
The Electoral Reform Act 2022, which provides for, among other matters, the establishment of a statutory, independent Electoral Commission – An Coimisiún Toghcháin, amends Part V of the Local Government Act 1991 in respect of the review of local electoral areas.
Under Chapter 8 of the Electoral Reform Act 2022, the future review of local electoral areas shall be a function of An Coimisiún Toghcháin once established. Following the completion of a review, the Minister must publish the report of An Coimisiún and must have regard to the report when deciding to make an order in relation to any amendment to local electoral area boundaries.
Notwithstanding the above, I have no plans to make an order under section 23 of the Local Government Act 2001 amending local electoral areas in advance of the next local elections.