My Adjourned Motions at this months (17th Oct) Municipal District Meeting;
1. The Standards in Public Office Commissioner has expressed concern with the failure of lobbyists to register as lobbyists. Notwithstanding the responsibility of lobbyists to register as lobbyists, in light of the Commissioners request that councils make an effort to ensure that lobbyists register with www.lobbying.ie. that the council detail how it plans to respond to the Commissioner’s request in relation to people and companies (identity will be supplied) who have failed to register their lobbying of Municipal District councillors and officials.
Here is the report issued by: Ms M McIvor, Senior Executive officer, Corporate Services: Following contact with the Lobbying Regulation Unit in the Standards in Public Office Commission, we have been advised that no specific instruction has issued to councils requesting that councils make an effort to ensure that lobbyists register with www.lobbying.ie and have again confirmed that it is the lobbyist’s obligation to register. However, this council continues to carry out its obligations in relation to implementation of the Regulation of Lobbying Act, by adhering to guidelines as set down by the Lobbying Regulation Unit namely: – Guidance for Designated Public Officials and Guidance for Local Authority members.
That the council clearly outline the grounds on which it helped set up a partisan Steering Group for Kildare Town Centre Renewal when it invited two public representatives – one councillor and one TD from the same party, to form part of the Steering Group, to the exclusion of other municipal district councillors.
Here is the report issued by: Ms M Hunt, Senior Executive Officer, Economic Community & Cultural Development: The group were selected on the basis of their membership of other relevant cross sector groups/ committees; namely County Kildare Failte, Tidy Towns, Chamber of Commerce, Kildare Medieval Festival Committee, Kildare Tourism Committee, Kildare Day Care Centre, Kildare Walled Towns Committee, Kildare Heritage Company and Kildare Heritage Centre, HIVE – Youth Project, Local School Principal, Local Garda Sargent, Accessibility Officer from Kildare County Council, local artist, and local historian.
Membership of a political party was not a factor in selection. The group’s membership is comprised of people with specific knowledge/ expertise of local issues and essentially act as consultees/ sounding board. They do not direct public funds; this will always be a matter for the elected members as part of the budgetary process.
They do not determine priorities; this will also be a matter for the elected members as part of the adoption of the Local Area Plan.
Any individual or group who could add similar value to the process are more than welcome to come on board.