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Council plans to spend €1m on a 'super chamber'

DUN Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has outlined plans to build a new €1m 'super chamber'.

Councillors will move out of the current chamber to a proposed new facility in the local authority's building.

The proposed chamber, which is still in the planning stages, is expected to be built above the council's central 'exhibition space'.

The move comes as membership of the council is expected to increase by 12 as part of Environment Minister Phil Hogan's local government reforms.

Outlining the plans, the council's director of corporate services, Kathleen Holohan, said it has been proposed to insert a floor in the upper area of the exhibition space.

"In the event that the council membership is increased to 40, then the existing council chamber will not be able to accommodate this number," Ms Holohan said.

Commenting on the proposed plans, Cllr Niamh Bhreathnach (Lab) said the public could have a problem with the amount of money needed to increase councillors' 'importance among the public'.

Cllr Gerry Horkan (FF) said the council should call on the Government to reimburse the costs of the building if it goes ahead.

Cllr Melisa Haplin (PBPA) argued that people "will be annoyed" as a result of the proposals.

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She said she doesn't believe that adding "more councillors will contribute much to a democratic society", and that "the Government should be responsible for the costs of the building instead of money coming out of the council's own funds".

Other councillors called on council management to determine what the current meeting chamber, housed in the protected structure of the County Hall, would be used for.

Cllr Victor Boyhan (Ind) suggested that it could be used to create a public archive.

The proposal is expected to go out to public consultation in the coming weeks.

hnews@herald.ie


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