According to the Department for the Environment and Local Government,
"A fundamental role of democratically elected local government is representation of local communities, voicing local concerns and responding to local needs."
Kilkenny County Council has a long and proud record in this regard.
The first local elections were held in County Kilkenny on Thursday 6th April 1899. The first meeting of the new Council took place on Saturday 22nd April 1899 in the Courthouse, Kilkenny. The very first resolution passed expressed the demand for Home Rule.
The main issues at these early meetings included the fixing of salaries, the condition of the roads, and the appointment of a bank to act as treasurer. It is interesting to note that even back then an important issue was salmon fishing on the Nore and Barrow and drainage of the latter.
"Kilkenny County Council - A Century of Local Government" by Mr. Tom Boyle refers to the "cut and thrust" of the Council debates at their regular meetings. He comments on the fact that "the political dimension" of the time dominated the debates in the early years of the Council but this lessened in later years.
Also according to Mr. Boyle, provision has always been made for public attendance at these meetings, and while there was some attendance until the early 1950's it has been rarely availed of in recent years.
However, reports of the meetings in the Kilkenny People, and more recently on KCLR 96 FM, have consistently exposed the issues debated at the Council meetings to the people of Kilkenny.