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14-08-2018, 14:37   #1
Boards.ie: Niamh
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Now Ye're Talking - to a rural county councillor

Our next guest is a rural Fine Gael county councillor. He has been elected to the council for a number of years now. He has a background in community volunteering. He is here to answer any questions you have about the county council and how it is to work there, how it functions and what powers and responsibilities the county council has in the local area.
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14-08-2018, 14:39   #2
Vex Willems
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Will you sort me out with my planning?
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14-08-2018, 14:41   #3
eviltwin
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How many hours a week do you do and how much do you get paid?
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14-08-2018, 14:43   #4
Cork Boy 53
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There is a big pothole in the boreen leading to my house. Will you get it filled for me?
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14-08-2018, 14:48   #5
I'm a rural county councillor, AMA
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Will you sort me out with my planning?
Well I'm sure I can offer some help with your planning but once you have adhered to your county development plan and the different planning regulations, hopefully you won't have any issues. But please do drop me a PM if I can help.
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14-08-2018, 14:50   #6
I'm a rural county councillor, AMA
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There is a big pothole in the boreen leading to my house. Will you get it filled for me?
Ah potholes, the absolute bane of every rural councillors life. Have you seen the website www.fixmystreet.ie ? It can be a useful tool. If you would like to forward me the location and I will contact your local authority and report it.

Last edited by I'm a rural county councillor, AMA; 14-08-2018 at 14:52. Reason: Spelling mistake
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14-08-2018, 14:52   #7
julyjane
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Do you get abuse from anyone?
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14-08-2018, 14:53   #8
gerrybbadd
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How do you feel the attitude is with regard to Local Authorities and Social Housing? This is potentially the biggest political issue at the minute, but it seems there is little pressure felt within Local Authorities to deliver on their targets, at least from the outside looking in.
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14-08-2018, 14:54   #9
Turbohymac
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Why can't the local council fix potholes and in a timely manner..down here in cork apart from the cork Dublin motorway..all the rural roads are in a very bad state and potholes actually turn into vehicle swallowing craters before the council repairs them and even then the repair is of poor quality..also why are there not more resurfacing lengths of road contracted out to private contractors who inmo certainly do an absolutely superior road finish than when the council undertake the work themselves..
I have previously worked in another department of the council for over 21 years and i am simply stating real facts.
Also if money/funding is an issue why not pass a higher percentage of road tax on to road repairs but not to be given directly to roads division of councils as they cost more than subcontractors and as stated earlier simply do very poor repairs
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14-08-2018, 15:17   #10
I'm a rural county councillor, AMA
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How many hours a week do you do and how much do you get paid?
It's very hard to say exactly how many hours a week. There is no clock in or clock out.

I would say however that being a county councillor is a seven day per week job and while "if you enlist, you must soldier" applies to it, (I knew what some of the job entailed before I ran for election) you are never off duty.

With social media and the internet, councillors (most of them) are now contactable 24/7 and while you could say right I'm only responding to people between 9am and 6pm. You would be left with an unworkable amount of representations to do on a daily basis.

Some people would say that a councillors only "real" work is going to meetings. So it could be worked out how many hours a week on average each councillor does in that regard but the job entails a lot more, which I can elaborate on further if you wish, it's actually one of my great frustrations that many people don't see a difference between a councillor a T.D, Senator or often times actual council staff.

Payment.

What every councillor is paid and what they claim in expenses is available on every local authority website. (at least to my knowledge).

There tends to be an attitude of "Ah sure that doesn't include all the 'hidden' stuff" but I can assure you any cent of public money that a councillor receives is available to view.

The break down is something like this:

Representational Payment: 16,500 (This is a salary type payment and is taxable)

Monthly expenses: €380 (This is my MONTHLY travel and subsistence payment and is calculated by the distance each councillor lives from the local authority offices. Naturally, it varies from councillor to councillor) this is approx €4,560 in my case per year.

Municipal district allowance. €1,000 per annum (this was brought in last year to give consideration to the increased workload and geographical areas that most councillors encountered after the 2014 electoral boundaries were changed.

So all in all probably a little less than €22,000 per year. Then councillors will attend training modules which they can claim expenses for, I think in most councils its somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 but this must be claimed and councillors must actually sign in at the training etc

There are also allowances for chairman/mayor roles and these vary depending on county population and per local authority.

But on average, a councillor gets approx 22k per year.
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14-08-2018, 15:28   #11
Ginger83
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The local cllr in our area is absolutely hated due to being a gossiper and a pure liar. He is also the local undertaker and couldn't get a local funeral if he did it for free.

How does your community see you?
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14-08-2018, 16:15   #12
artanevilla
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The local cllr in our area is absolutely hated due to being a gossiper and a pure liar. He is also the local undertaker and couldn't get a local funeral if he did it for free.

How does your community see you?
Obviously not that hated if he was elected?

Anyway.

Do you think a lot of TDs in Dail Eireann are glorified councillors?
Does 'parish pump' politics have a place on the national stage?
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14-08-2018, 16:18   #13
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Do you own a pub, undertakers or have an auctioneers licence?
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14-08-2018, 16:23   #14
I'm a rural county councillor, AMA
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How do you feel the attitude is with regard to Local Authorities and Social Housing? This is potentially the biggest political issue at the minute, but it seems there is little pressure felt within Local Authorities to deliver on their targets, at least from the outside looking in.
That's a very interesting point. I think the perception many people have of politics, government, local authorities is often different from the real picture.

There is huge pressure on local authorities to build houses. Make no mistake about it. In my local authority we are approving the building of houses on a monthly basis and there is a real sense of urgency in relation to it.

However, there's not enough focus on local authorities individually and too much attention on the minister and what he says or doesn't say.

There are also people gaming the system (not all of them) but enough that they are taking from the sincere and genuine cases and that is a real shame.
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14-08-2018, 16:24   #15
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Is politics something you aspired to get into or something you fell into after seeing a need for things to be done/done differently? If so, what was it that gave you that push to go for it?

Do you get much job satisfaction from it? I'd imagine being contactable 24/7 you'd have to enjoy it to some degree!
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