Regrets over the abolition of Naas Town Council

Naas Town Hall.  Photo Tony Keane.

Naas Town Hall. Photo Tony Keane.

The imminent abolition of Naas Town Council will mean the loss of some kind of local government in the town stretching back a little more than 600 years.

Naas Town Council currently has nine members but it will be done away with on May 23 when voters go the polls to elected a new, enlarged Kildare County Council.

NTC will cease to exist as will all other town councils in what some see as as streamlining of local government but for others is a Government-inspired cost saving measure.

NTC will be replaced by the Naas Municipal District, which will have - like NTC - 9 councillors.

The difference is though is that the new NMD is a larger area than Naas town; Caragh, Sallins, Johnstown, Kilcullen, Kilteel, Ballymore, Rathmore and Ladytown.

At last week’s Naas Town Council meeting, Cllr. Seamie Moore described the change as a “shame” and said services will “come under threat” because councillors from outside Naas “could dictate what happens in Naas”.

Town Manager Eamonn O’Sullivan (now the acting County Manager) said the new MD could not just have a Naas town focus but the challenge will be to maintain services. “If this is done properly the citizen should notice no change and that will be a challenge in Naas because the standard of services has been so high,” Mr. O’Sullivan said.

Cllr. Darren Scully said the new reforms would give more powers to councillors - though he doubted many election candidates had read the legislation. He said senior council officials will be more accountable to councillors, councillors will have a stronger say in how money is spent in the Naas area and more revenue would be available in the form of the Residential Property Tax. He hoped that the new municipal district would meet at the town hall, rather than Aras Chill Dara.




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