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Councillor Micheal MacDonncha requested that Item 12. A.O.B of the minutes be amended to reflect the fact that the Committee did not make a decision with regard to the Lord Mayor’s proposal to discontinue the Live Animal Crib at the Mansion House in 2022. It was clarified that the serving Lord Mayor has responsibility for deciding which events take place at the Mansion House. The minutes were amended to state the following “There were no objections from Members, however, no decision was taken by the Committee as events at the Mansion House are the prerogative of the Lord Mayor.”
The Chair also requested that the Manager bring a report to the next meeting of the Protocol Committee outlining those areas of the management of the Mansion House where responsibility lies with the Lord Mayor.
The Members requested that in future, items of significance such as this are listed on the agenda to allow for proper discussion and consideration.
Councillor Mícheál MacDonncha informed the Committee that he had conveyed his dissatisfaction to the Assistant Chief Executive, Richard Shakespeare in relation to the report he issued with regard to the demolition of 40 Herbert Park. It was agreed to invite the Assistant Chief Executive and the Law Agent to the next meeting of the Committee to further discuss the issues raised by Cllr. MacDonncha.
Councillors Joe Costello and Mannix Flynn expressed serious concern regarding events in the Rotunda of City Hall causing significant disturbance to the working environment of Members upstairs in the Council Chamber and party rooms. The Manager confirmed that she was aware of the problems and reported that City Architects were investigating a number of options including the installation of a sound absorbing curtain at the entrance to the Chamber and installing acoustic measures in the Rotunda itself. She is working closely with CRES to ensure that this issue is addressed. The Members requested that the matter would be kept under review and monthly updates would be brought to the Committee.
Order: The minutes as amended agreed.
Ruth Dowling and Carol McAuley gave a presentation on the impact of the Electoral Reform Act 2022 and the Modernisation of the electoral registration process. The main points were as follows:
· Establishment of an independent electoral commission
· Introduction of a Rolling Register
· Provision for voters with no fixed abode and Anonymous Voters
· Provision for 16 & 17 year olds to register
· Online registration
The full presentation is attached to these minutes.
Order: Report Noted.
Executive Manager Tony Flynn gave an overview of the report on the proposed new Management Structure for City Hall which would see the Dublin Cultural Company taking over management of events in the Rotunda. He confirmed that the management of the upper floors including the Council Chamber, Richard O’Carroll Room and the Party Rooms would remain under the responsibility of the Chief Executive’s Office.
The Members thanked Tony for the report and raised the following issues:
· Minimising disruption to the Councillors working environment from events and prioritising the needs of Councillors.
· Ensuring that priority is given to Civic and Cultural events above commercial interests.
· Ensuring that working conditions and pay of City Hall staff are maintained.
· Establishing an agreed Protocol with Councillors for the remit of the Cultural Company in relation to City Hall.
· The use of the City Hall Sub-Committee to co-ordinate the Members position
The Manager welcomed the input from the Members and acknowledged their concerns. He confirmed that there would be no impact on City Council staff in relation to their pay and conditions as they would remain within the CRES Department. He commended the team for their work in City Hall and acknowledged the excellent service they provide. However, he noted that the Cultural Company would provide dedicated event management expertise which would improve the overall experience for users of City Hall, as well as delivering a consistent offering across Richmond Barracks, Henrietta Street and City Hall. He reassured the Committee that responsibility for maintenance, security and protection of City Hall would remain with Dublin City Council.
The Members wished it noted that they valued and recognised the commitment and service provided by the City Hall Staff for which they were immensely grateful.
Order: It was agreed that the City Hall Sub-Committee would be reconstituted to provide a forum for Councillors and officials to discuss these issues and establish an agreed framework for the future management of City Hall.
Ruth advised Members that the Training Program provided for a €1,000 annual budget for each Councillor for courses related to their role as elected representative. There was also an additional allowance of €1,500 for non-council related Level 6+ courses. Sanction for these courses must be sought in advance.
The Manager thanked Shannon Kelly for her role in creating the Councillor Training Programme and advised Members to contact Shannon or herself if they wished to avail of any courses or training events.
Order: Agreed and recommend to Council.
Request to Illuminate City Hall on 3rd December 2022 in support of Disability Federation of Ireland's "Purple Lights Campaign".
The Manager confirmed that lighting requests for the Mansion House was at the discretion of the Lord Mayor and also that City Hall was not involved in the Winter Lights program for 2022.
Order: The lighting request from Disability Federation of Ireland was approved.
The Manager informed the Members on the following matters:
· A review of the lift in City Hall has determined that there have been 5 breakdowns, 1 entrapment and 5 maintenance visits in the last 6 months. The breakdowns appears to be one off events due to general wear and tear. Doyle Lifts who have the maintenance contract have identified a number of additional maintenance items that should improve the reliability. It is proposed that the lift performance be monitored over the next six months to determine if these works have improved the situation. The members requested a report on the reliability of the lift in comparison to those in Civic Offices and also to investigate the costs of replacing the lift in its entirety.
Order: Noted and the Manager to revert to the Committee in due course on the issues raised.
· The Dublin City Council pocket diaries will arrive next week. The Members requested that they be posted to their home addresses.
· Members were reminded that invoices and receipts in relation to the Local Representative Allowance have to be returned to Michael Gallagher in the Chief Executive’s Office by 31st December 2022. An email will be issued with a spreadsheet template to assist Members in making their vouched expenses return. For Members who are awaiting Invoices/receipts relating to home office utilities, these can be submitted in January 2023. Members were reminded that the onus was on them to comply with the new regulations and to make the return.
There was no A.O.B.
Proposed of date of next meeting: 22nd December 2022 at 8am
Order: It was agreed that the next meeting of the Protocol Committee would
take place on 23rd December 2022 at 8am.
Proposed dates of meetings in 2023
Order: The following dates for Protocol Committee meetings in 2023 were agreed:
· 26th January
· 3rd February
· 23rd March
· 27th April
· 25th May
· 29th June
· 21st September
· 26th October
· 23rd November
· 21St December