Local authorities are empowered under the Local Government Act 2001 to establish Area Committees, covering one or more electoral areas within the authority. This allows specific local issues to be identified, debated and resolved locally, for example, regeneration of particular areas, community development matters, consideration of local area plans, local traffic management issues, commencement of Part VIII processes under the planning and development legislation and any other relevant local issues. This allows the County Council freedom to deal with some of the more important countywide matters such as the adoption of the annual budget, making of the County Development Plan, making of the Rate, etc. and any other issues affecting the county as a whole.
In Westmeath there are four area committees:
The Athlone Area committee covers the electoral area of Athlone
The Coole Area Committee covers the Coole Electoral Area.
The Kilbeggan Area Committee covers the Kilbeggan Electoral Area
Mullingar Area committee covers the electoral areas of Mullingar East and Mullingar West.