Minister for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell T.D. launched the “Your Council” campaign, to provide members of the public with more information about local government and the role of the Councillor.

The campaign, being launched today, is a digital, social media and radio advertising initiative and gives an overview of the different responsibilities of local government and the key role played by Councillors in shaping communities.

Public information campaign to build greater awareness of the role of the local Council and Councillors 1
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Minister O’Donnell said:

Local Councils and Councillors play a huge role in shaping communities across the country.

They oversee the development of local areas for the benefit of everyone, including the provision of essential services such as housing, recreation, road maintenance, public lighting and footpaths, biodiversity and water quality management.

They also play a vital role in local economic development through supports to and engagement with local businesses.

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As the remit of local government and Councillors is so varied, it is hoped that this campaign will encourage greater awareness among the general public of the crucial role played by Councils and Councillors.

In particular the campaign will highlight the Councillors’ role in policymaking, governance and oversight, and as representatives within their local communities.

This campaign will see a national campaign roll out on radio, outdoor, social media and digital channels, using simple and informative language, and inviting the public to visit www.gov.ie/YourCouncil to find out more about the vital work local Councils and Councillors do, and how important it is to be informed and engaged with local government.

 

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In conclusion the Minster said:

I would encourage everyone to engage with the information provided, to visit www.gov.ie/YourCouncil – and indeed engage with the work of local authorities.

Life in your local area is shaped by the decisions and policies made by your Council and the Councillors you elect to represent your community.

While it is of the utmost importance, particularly in a local election year, that we are all fully informed on the important work they do, greater awareness can also allow individuals to become more involved in local government structures and decision making in their local areas.

 

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Minister Rabbitte welcomed the campaign’s launch and said:

Local government councils play a pivotal role in the well-being and development of communities, directly impacting the lives of individuals within their jurisdictions.

These councils are the primary governing bodies responsible for addressing local needs, managing public services, and implementing policies that cater to the unique requirements of their communities.

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and she continued:

They serve as a vital link between residents and higher levels of government, ensuring that the specific concerns and aspirations of local populations are adequately represented and addressed.

Through citizen engagement and community participation, local government councils empower individuals to have a direct influence on decision-making processes that affect their neighbourhoods and are the cornerstone of grassroots governance, contributing significantly to the social, economic, and cultural vibrancy of communities and is vital in a democratic society.

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and she continued:

Never before has there been a need for a foundation for fostering human dignity, freedom and the pursuit of collective well-being than today.  The importance of democracy lies in its ability to safeguard fundamental rights, encourage diversity of opinions, and foster peaceful means of resolving conflicts.

Additionally, democratic societies often exhibit higher levels of economic development and social stability, as the inclusion of diverse perspectives contributes to more informed and equitable decision-making.

 

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and she concluded:

It is in all our interests to stay informed, engaged and empowered as we move through an age dotted with misinformation, [unintentional dissemination of inaccurate or misleading information, often due to a lack of knowledge or understanding] and disinformation, [the deliberate creation and dissemination of false information with the intent to deceive or manipulate others].

Combatting these issues requires media literacy, critical thinking skills and effort with a small dash of common sense.

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