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City Government

 


The Corporation was founded by Royal Charter in 1205. Before that, Waterford was ruled in accordance with a sort of urban republicanism. The City owed no allegiance anywhere and, internally, was ruled by a 'popular' chieftain deriving his authority from his subjects. The Norman incursion brought with it an entirely new form of City Government.  The invaders arrived when the Communal Movement in Europe was at its strongest and introduced the system of borough incorporation from above. The newly created boroughs, in true feudal tradition, owed all their properties, rights and privileges to the King; though they retained, while in favour, a large measure of civic independence. The Corporation can trace its roots back to 1195 A.D. when the city was first governed by an official termed a 'Provost', later a Mayor. Numerous Charters were granted after the first, the most important being the Great Charter of Charles I under which the City was ruled for more than 200 years after it was granted in 1626. Then came the Municipal Corporations Act of 1840, later the Local Government Act of 1898 and a volume of legislation since which has greatly increased the functions of the Corporation.  The Council-Manager system of administration was introduced to Waterford in 1939 and, under the Waterford City Management Acts 1939-55, the City Council consists of fifteen (15) members of whom the first five elected are Aldermen and the remaining are Councillors.

- Extracted from Waterford, A Municipal Directory.

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