The Department of the Environment says the new municipal districts, which will include “towns and their hinterlands” eliminate division caused by outdated town boundaries and the anomaly of some small centres having a Town Council while certain other larger centres have not.
It says they are designed to enhance “governance, subsidiarity and accountability”.
The new arrangements are also intended to improve operational efficiency and value for money, with a single county-wide executive and operational structure. The municipal districts will be decision-making entities rather than corporate structures.
There will be a wide range of reforms to local authority functions, structures, funding, performance and governance, which will be brought into effect progressively says the Department.
The main changes are the new municipal districts, which replace the 80 town councils. They will be brought into effect from June 1, following the elections on May 23.