Two elected members of Clare County Council did not submit a single motion or question to any full meeting of the local authority in 2017.
North Clare councillors Richard Nagle (FF) and Bill Slattery (FG) were not directly associated with any of the 176 motions put forward by elected members last year.
Each elected member of Clare County Council can ask a number of written questions to the CEO and Directors of Services of the council each month or put forward a point of policy which the council can discuss and possibly adopt.
Speaking to The Clare People yesterday both Cllr Nagle and Slattery said that they preferred to go directly to the council’s CEO, Pat Dowling, with any issues. Cllr Slattery also said that many of the motions put forward at council meetings were ‘a waste of time’.
Cllrs Christy Curtin (IND) and PJ Kelly (FF) topped the number of motions with 23 each, with Gerry Flynn (IND) in third with 19 and Johnny Flynn (FG), Ian Lynch (IND) and Pat McMahon (FF) all submitting 15 motions each.
Motions and questions are usually submitted by individual councillors but councillors sometimes come together to submit joint motions.
Speaking to The Clare People yesterday, Cllr Slattery said that he prefer to bring issues directly to the CEO of Clare County Council, Pat Dowling, instead of submitting motions to monthly council meetings.
He also said that some of the motions put forward by councillors are ‘a waste of time’.
“Motions are only a small fraction of the work that councillors do. The reason that I don’t put down motions is that I prefer to go directly to the CEO and to the Director of Services with any issues,” he said.
“Some of these motions [put forward by other councillors] go to other councils or to a minister after an hour of debate and are never heard of again. Some of these motions are just a waste of time. If a motion does appear that effects my constituents I do contribute to that.
“I submit my three motions to the municipal [West Clare Municipal District] meetings every month and these are the important motions for me. It is my job to look after the people of west and north Clare. Some of the motions [at full Clare County Council meetings] are usually seeking extra funding or resources from central government and really should be looked after by our Oireachtas members.”
Cllr Nagle said that he had ample opportunity to raise issues with the local authority through his position on Clare County Council’s Corporate Policy Group and through the monthly West Clare Municipal District Meetings.
“I am on the Corporate Policy Group. This group meets with the CEO [Pat Dowling] and the Directors of Services on a regular basis,” he told The Clare People yesterday.
“We meet on an ongoing basis and in the run up the budget estimates we met on seven or eight occasions. I have adequate opportunity to bring forward any issues that I have in this forum.
“I am also chair of an SPC [the Economic Development Special Policy Committee] and I know that when it comes to local issues, I have raised my maximum of three motions at every local meeting [West Clare Municipal District meetings] last year.
“If there was an issues that I wanted to bring to a council meeting I would do that. Also, if a motion is presented at a council meeting that I want to contribute to, I do.”
Clare County Council has four Special Policy Committees. Every councillor is a member of one of these groups with four councillors, Pat Hayes (FF), Joe Cooney (FG), Gerry Flynn (IND) and Richard Nagle acting as chairperson.
The Corporate Policy Group is a six person group including the chairpersons of each SPC alongside the CEO, Pat Dowling and the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, currently Tom McNamara (FF). As well as meeting as a group each month except August, county councillors also meet in one of four local municipal district meetings where local issues are addressed. February was the busiest month for motions with 22 motions dealt with. May was the quietest month with just 11 motions before Clare County Council. Motions which were adjourned in one council meeting and discussed the following month are counted in the month they are dealt with.

The number of motions and questions put forward by councillors at Clare County Council in 2017

Christy Curtin (IND) 23
PJ Kelly (FF) 23
Gerry Flynn (IND) 19
Johnny Flynn (FG) 15
Ian Lynch (IND) 15
Pat McMahon (FF) 15
Cathal Crowe (FF) 13
PJ Ryan (IND) 12
Michael Hillery (FF) 11
Mary Howard (FG) 11
Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) 9
Joe Cooney (FG) 8
James Breen (IND) 7
John Crowe (FG) 7
Ann Norton (IND) 7
Michael Begley (IND) 6
Gabriel Keating (FG) 6
Paul Murphy (FG) 6
Mike McKee (SF) 5
Bill Chambers (FF) 5
Pat Hayes (FF) 4
Tom McNamara (FF) 3
Alan O’Callaghan (FF) 3
Pat Daly (FF) 2
Pat Burke (FG) 1
Tony O’Brien (FF) 1
Richard Nagle (FF) 0
Bill Slattery (FG) 0

This Week’s Clare People out now.

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