On Wednesday 31st of May, President Cllr. Fitzpatrick had a positive meeting with officials in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in Custom House where he discussed the issue of supports for Councillors security systems and our members Gratuity Scheme.
Earlier this month, AILG issued a letter to Minister Kieran O’Donnell, Minister for Planning and Local Government to ensure that a stand-alone security allowance is introduced for our Members to enhance their own security systems with immediate effect. During the discussions yesterday, Cllr. Fitzpatrick was adamant that this security allowance is a stand-alone allowance and separate from our Members’ Local Representation Allowance (LRA).
AILG has been to the fore in highlighting the increasingly hostile environment that our Members now work in while carrying out their duties. The Association will be launching an updated Councillor survey on threats, harassment, and intimidation in public office in the coming weeks which will include a survey report.
The President also sought an update from the Department in relation to our Member’s Gratuity issue. Cllr. Fitzpatrick emphasised AILG’s position that the Gratuity should be linked to Councillors new remuneration payment and stressed that the issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible, particularly in light of next year’s local elections.
In response to AILG’s representations, Department officials confirmed that the Minister is prioritising and currently progressing both issues and acknowledged the importance of trying to resolve the gratuity issue swiftly given the time pressures of the local elections.
We will continue to keep our members updated on any progress made.