Naas Mayor critical of legislation to reduce councillors

PLANNED changes to the way local government works will see a reduction in the number of councillors serving Naas - and elsewhere.

PLANNED changes to the way local government works will see a reduction in the number of councillors serving Naas - and elsewhere.

Moves are afoot to replace the current system with Municipal District Councils.

Understandably, this is opposed by local councillors because some will lose seats.

Currently there are five members elected to represent the Naas area (which embraces Kill, Sallins, Two Mile House, Eadestown, Johnstown, Rathmore and Brannockstown) on Kildare County Council.

They are Cllrs. Paddy McNamara (Lab), Darren Scully (FG), Willie Callaghan (FF), Seamie Moore (Ind) and Fintan Brett (FG).

Also, there are nine councillors elected to Naas Town Council, which serves only the Naas area.

They are Cllrs. Rioghnagh Bracken (Ind), Willie Callaghan (FF), Pat Clear (Ind), Seamie Moore (Ind), Darren Scully (FG), Ger Dunne (Lab), Anne Breen (Lab), Alan O’Kelly (FG) and Emer McDaid (FG).

These fourteen councillors – between KCC and NTC – will be cut from 14 to 7.

Newly re-elected Naas Mayor Willie Callaghan was critical and questioned whether it would save money.

“I could be the second last Mayor in Naas because the new system could come in with the local elections of 2014.

There could 600 less local representatives across the country,” he said.

Cllr. Callaghan acknowledged that many feel reform is needed but it would leave people with less representation.

- Paul O’Meara