Local Government Reform Act 2014

62.

Regional assemblies

62. (1) The Local Government Act 1991 is amended by substituting the following for section 43:

“43. (1) For the purpose of co-ordinating, promoting or supporting strategic planning and sustainable development, and promoting effectiveness in local government and public services, in different areas of the State, the Minister may, by order, made with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (in this section referred to as an ‘establishment order’)—

(a) declare that an area consisting of specified cities, counties or cities and counties shall constitute a region, and

(b) establish in respect of the region, a body (to be known as a ‘regional assembly’) the membership of which shall consist of persons who are members of every council of a city, council of a county and council of a city and county the functional area of each of which is included in that region, to perform, in respect of the region and for the purposes set out in this subsection, the functions conferred on it by or under this section or to perform functions conferred on it otherwise by law.

(2)(a) A regional assembly shall be called and known by such title as may be specified in the establishment order concerned.

(b) A regional assembly shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and an official seal and with power to sue and be sued in its corporate name and to acquire, hold and dispose of land or an interest in land.

(c) Judicial notice shall be taken of the seal of a regional assembly and every document purporting to be an order or other instrument made by that assembly and to be sealed with its seal (purporting to be authenticated in the manner provided by the establishment order) shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such order or instrument without further proof unless the contrary is shown.

(3) An establishment order shall require a regional assembly thereby established to provide itself with an official seal and shall contain such provisions as the Minister considers appropriate in relation to the membership of the assembly (including provisions in relation to the number of members of the assembly, the method, terms and conditions of their appointment and their tenure of office).

(4)(a) An establishment order or an order amending or revoking an establishment order may contain such other provisions as the Minister considers necessary arising from, by reason of, for the purposes of, or to give full effect to, a declaration under subsection (1) or to the establishment or dissolution of a regional assembly and such an order may contain provisions relating to any matter whatsoever arising in relation to such declaration, establishment or dissolution or in relation to the functions of the regional assembly concerned.

(b) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), an order referred to in that paragraph may provide in respect of a regional assembly established by the establishment order, for all or any of the following matters:

(i) the conferral of functions on the assembly in relation to the purposes set out in subsection (1), including—

(I) regional spatial and economic strategy under the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2014,

(II) functions in connection with assistance from the European Union, with national investment programmes, or with the role of the National Oversight and Audit Commission,

(ii) the administration generally (including the preparation and publication of a corporate plan and an annual report) and the finances generally of the assembly,

(iii) the meetings of the assembly, and the procedure at such meetings,

(iv) the use and authentication of the seal of the assembly,

(v) the payment of grants by the Minister of such amounts as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas, towards the expenses of the assembly,

(vi) the payment to the assembly by the local authorities who, as respects the assembly are local authorities referred to in subsection (1)(b) or by other specified public authorities, in such manner as may be specified, of all or part of the expenses and expenditure of the assembly,

(vii) the furnishing from time to time by the assembly to the Minister or to specified local authorities or other specified public authorities of information in relation to the performance of its functions and the furnishing of such information to the Minister whenever he or she so requests,

(viii) the making by the assembly of arrangements with other public authorities for the use by it of premises or equipment of those authorities or for the use by the assembly of the services of employees of those authorities,

(ix) matters to which the assembly shall have regard in the performance of its functions,

(x) the giving of directions by the Minister to the assembly in relation to the performance of its functions,

(xi) the dissolution of the assembly,

(xii) the designation of the assembly to be the successor of one or more than one regional authority, including in respect of part of the administrative area of a regional authority, established by the Local Government Act 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order 1993 ( S.I. No. 394 of 1993), on the dissolution of such authority or authorities and the transfer to such assembly—

(I) of the assets and liabilities of such authority or authorities, or

(II) in so far as the designation relates to part of the administrative area of a regional authority, of specified assets or liabilities of such authority or of a specified portion of any of those assets and liabilities,

and any land to which the order relates shall, on the date specified in the order in relation to that land, vest in such assembly without any further conveyance, transfer or assignment,

(xiii) any other matter in relation to which the Minister considers that provision should be made in order to enable the assembly to perform its functions effectively or, as respects its dissolution.

(c) An establishment order or an order amending an establishment order may contain such provisions as the Minister considers necessary or expedient consequential on the dissolution of a regional authority established by the Local Government Act 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order 1993 ( S.I. No. 394 of 1993) and, in particular, may make provision for—

(i) the application of any of the provisions of Schedule 4 (other than paragraphs 3(2), 7, 8, 12, 13, 14(3), 14(4) and 15) of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 to such regional authority as if—

(I) references in that Schedule to ‘relevant day or date’ were a reference to the date provided for in the order for the dissolution of the regional authority concerned,

(II) references to a dissolved authority were references to a dissolved regional authority,

(III) in relation to a regional authority, references to a successor authority were references to a regional assembly designated in the order as the successor body in accordance with subsection 4(b) (xii),

together with such other modifications as the Minister considers necessary or expedient, and

(ii) any other transitional, supplementary or incidental matters that appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient to facilitate the dissolution either generally of all regional authorities or of one or more than one named regional authority.

(5) Subject to the other provisions of this section (including the establishment order concerned) and without prejudice to any other enactment, a regional assembly shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient for the performance of its functions.

(6) An establishment order or an order referred to in subsection (4) (a) may apply to a regional assembly established by the establishment order, with any necessary modifications or adaptations, all or any of the provisions of or made under any enactment relating to local authorities.

(7)(a) An establishment order shall provide for the appointment of a chief officer, to be known by the title director of the assembly, and for the powers and functions and other provisions relating to the office of director of the assembly.

(b) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), the functions of the director of the assembly include—

(i) representing the assembly,

(ii) the carrying out of, managing and controlling generally the administration and business of the assembly,

(iii) performing such functions as may be specified in the establishment order or in an order amending that order,

(iv) performing such functions of the assembly as may be delegated to the director under subsection (11),

(v) performing such functions, other than those to which subparagraph (iii) or (iv) could relate, as the assembly may determine or assign from time to time other than such functions or a class of functions as may be specified in the establishment order or in an order amending an establishment order, and

(vi) performing any other function assigned to the director under any other enactment.

(c) Without prejudice to any other enactment, the functions of a director shall be performed in accordance with the policy of the assembly as duly determined by the members of the assembly.

(8) A regional assembly may, in relation to the performance of any of its functions, consult with such local authorities, other public authorities and regional assemblies as it considers appropriate.

(9) A regional assembly may establish committees consisting, in whole or in part of persons who are members of the assembly—

(a) to consider such matters connected with the functions of the assembly as the assembly may determine and assist and advise the assembly in relation to those matters, or

(b) to perform functions of the assembly delegated to such committee under subsection (11) but may not delegate generally all of its functions, or all of its functions other than specified functions, to any such committee.

(10) A regional assembly may dissolve a committee established by it but the dissolution is without prejudice to anything previously done by the committee.

(11) A regional assembly may delegate with or without restrictions to a committee established under subsection (9), or to the director, any of its functions other than such functions or a class of functions as may be specified in the establishment order or in an order amending an establishment order, and different functions may be so specified in respect of such a committee or the director.

(12) A regional assembly may revoke or amend a delegation to a committee or to a director under subsection (11) but any revocation or amendment of a delegation is without prejudice to anything previously done by the director or the committee, as the case may be.

(13) An establishment order or an order amending an establishment order may contain such provisions relating to committees as the Minister considers appropriate.”.

(2) The bodies established by the Local Government Act 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order 1999 ( S.I. No. 226 of 1999) which are subsisting at the commencement of this section shall upon such commencement continue in being until dissolved or replaced under a provision of an establishment order and be known or continue to be known, as the case may be, as regional assemblies and accordingly—

(a) subject to paragraph (b) that order shall continue to apply to each of them as it applied before such commencement and that order may be amended or revoked under this section,

(b) references in any enactment to regional authorities within the meaning of section 43 (as amended by this Act) of the Local Government Act 1991 shall, where the context admits, be read as references to regional assemblies,

(c) a reference in paragraph (a), and subparagraphs (xi) and (xii) of paragraph (b), of section 43(4) (as amended by this Act) of the Local Government Act 1991 to the dissolution of a regional assembly or the dissolution of an assembly shall be read as including a reference to a regional authority established by the Local Government Act 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order 1993 ( S.I. No. 394 of 1993).

(3) References in the Local Government Act 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order 1999 to those local government areas in respect of which provision is made under Part 2 of this Act for their amalgamation shall, upon the 2014 establishment day (within the meaning of that Act) or, if later, upon the commencement of this section, be read in each case as a reference to the administrative area of the appropriate successor body within the meaning of paragraph (a) of the definition of “successor authority” in section 3 .

(4) In so far as it relates to regional assemblies, Part 4 of Schedule 2 has effect for the purpose of supplementing the amendment provided for by subsection (1).

Annotations:

Editorial Notes:

E19

Power pursuant to section exercised (18.02.2015) by Local Government Act 1991 (Regional Assemblies) (Establishment) (Amendment) Order 2015 (S.I. No. 62 of 2015).

E20

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.01.2015) by Local Government Act 1991 (Regional Assemblies) (Establishment) Order 2014 (S.I. No. 573 of 2014), in effect as per art. 3.

E21

Power pursuant to section exercised (1.06.2014) by Local Government Act 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Amendment) Order 2014 (S.I. No. 228 of 2014), in effect as per reg. 3.