South Dublin County Council was established in 1994. It covers an area of 222.7 sq km and is home to 265,025 people living in 97,228 homes. The population of the county grew by 11% from 2002 to 2011. This compares with a growth rate of 13.4 % in the Dublin region generally. South Dublin County has a relatively young population compared with the rest of Ireland. The county has about 6,500 businesses. People from 120 countries live in South Dublin County.
The Council provides and funds a broad range of services including housing, roads, walking and cycling routes, parks and playgrounds, libraries, sports facilities, litter control, arts centres, enterprise units, fire services and community infrastructure and financial supports. It also serves as a platform for local democracy. There are 40 councillors spread across six electoral areas.
Both the councillors and the executive are responsible for the delivery of services to the public. Councillors make decisions on policy and finance. These include adopting the annual budget, the county development plan and the corporate plan; deciding building programmes; making bye-laws; and setting commercial rates and local property tax.
The executive makes day-to-day operational decisions under the policy direction decided by councillors. These operational decisions include staff matters, planning decisions, housing allocations, budgetary control and asset management.
Six strategic policy committees help the Council with policy making. Committee members come from the Council and representatives of the business, farming, environment, community and trade union sectors. Together, the chairs of the strategic policy committees, the mayor and the chief executive form the corporate policy group. This has legal responsibility for preparing the annual budget and preparing and monitoring the corporate plan.
The Council has links with the community and voluntary sector through the Public Participation Network. It also facilitates the operation of the Local Community Development Committee which is responsible for governing and overseeing community expenditure from national sources.
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