1 March 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A CLONES town councillor this week stated that the abolition of town councils will greatly reduce the number of women entering politics.
Under proposals from the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan, 80 town councils will be scrapped next year – along with a 40 percent reduction in the number of local councillors nationwide.
Speaking at a meeting between local TDs and councillors on Monday evening Sinn Féin’s Marcella Leonard said that women often used town councils to get a taste of politics.
“The amount of women on town councils is unbelievable, there are only two on Monaghan County Council. Women are only starting to go into politics and this (the abolition of town councils) will be a massive hindrance,” said Councillor Leonard
The TDs and councillors met to discuss the impact the abolition of town councils would have and agreed to send a letter to the Minister seeking reform rather than abolition.
A number of reasons supporting this call were to be included in the correspondence, one of which was Councillor Leonard’s view that abolition would have an adverse effect on the number of women entering politics.
Cllr Leonard also said that research had shown that Ireland has the least representation of councillors per capita in Europe and that a report had shown that smaller authorities were more cost-effective. She felt that this should also be included in the letter to Minister Hogan.
Fianna Fáil councillor Deirdre Kelly agreed with Cllr Leonard’s view that town councils acted as a stepping stone for women entering politics and …

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