Donegal County Council as the Local Authority for County Donegal (exclusive of four Town Council area) provides an extensive range of services in the County. These services range from Planning Control, to the provision of Social Housing, to the upkeep and improvement of Roads, to Pollution Control, to Fire Services, Library Services and Sanitary Services.
Over the last number of years the Council has endeavoured to bring services closer to local communities with the opening of Public Service Centres in Dungloe, Donegal Town, Carndonagh, Letterkenny and Milford. Most Council services are now provided through each of these Centres representing a significant improvement in quality and convenience for customers.
The Council plays a proactive role in the development of the County. In conjunction with Donegal County Development Board, the Council assists in consolidating and, where possible, growing the economic welfare of County Donegal in an effort to make the County a better place in which to live, work, relax and invest.
Donegal County Council is made up of 29 elected members. Members are elected according to the system of proportional representation, generally for a period of five years. The Chairman of the Council is elected from the membership at the Annual General Meeting of the Council.
The wide range of functions performed by the elected members are called “Reserved Functions” which in broad terms are the functions relating to the policy making powers of the Council and include:
- adoption of Annual Budget.
- making or varying of the Development Plan.
- adoption of scheme of letting priorities for Local Authority Housing.
- making, amending and revoking bye-laws.
- approval to the borrowing of money.
The Council makes its decisions by “Resolution” at its formal meetings.
The operational role of Donegal County Council is performed by the County Manager and his staff who are responsible for the day to day operation of the Council. The functions performed by the County Manager are called “Executive Functions” and include:
- the letting of houses
- the decision on applications for planning permission
- the control of staff
- the regulatory and control functions of the Authority
- the overall implementation of Council Policy
The County Manager makes decisions that are consistent with the policy that has been made by the elected members.
As part of the national programme of Local Government Reform a number of initiatives were introduced to strengthen and enhance local democracy and widen participation in the Local Government process including: