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'A boundary extension is the right solution' says Lord Mayor

Monday, 12th June, 2017 10:50am

The Lord Mayor of Cork will formally propose approval of a report tonight which recommends a boundary extended for Cork city.

It also marks the last time that the Lord Mayor, Cllr Des Cahill will chair a Cork City Council meeting.

Cork City Council is seeking approval of the Expert Advisory Group's Local Government Arrangements report which was published on Friday.

However, Cork County Council has indicated that it is not in a position to accept the report.

Local Government Minister Simon Coveney established the group last October to make recommendations on future of local government arrangements for Cork. The Group had the task of reviewing the recommendations in both the majority and minority elements of the earlier 2015 report, known as the Smiddy Report.

This included re-appraising all relevant matters covered in that review, but also identifying and examining a wider range of options than might have been considered previously.

Some of the key recommendations include that Cork should continue to have two local authorities – Cork City Council and Cork County Council as well as that Cork County Council will remain by far the larger of the two local authorities, with a population of approximately 320,000.

Another recommendation is that Cork City Council should be extended to include Ballincollig, Carrigrohane, Blarney, Little Island, Glanmire, Carrigtwohill, and Cork Airport, meaning the population of Cork city would grow to 225,000, based on 2016 Census figures.

It is also recommended that the number of councillors should be revised to reflect a better balance of representation. The report also suggests that the County Council should be compensated for the loss of territory.

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Des Cahill said: “(This evening) I will chair the ordinary meeting of Cork City Council for the final time as Lord Mayor. Following the publication on Friday of the Report of the Expert Advisory Group on Local Government Arrangements in Cork, at Monday's meeting it will be my great privilege as Lord Mayor to propose that Cork City Council formally approves the Report.

“I believe passionately that a boundary extension is the right solution not just for the city, but for the county too, as well as for the southern region, and for Ireland.”

However, Cork County Council said that while it acknowledges that there are some positive aspects to the report’s findings, it has also expressed serious concerns in relation to many of the overriding principles contained in it.

Cork County Council has indicated that it is not in a position to accept the report in the absence of further information and the receipt of satisfactory clarification to a series of important questions.

Crucially, the Council has, for some time, been unanimously committed to a ‘whole of Cork’ model.

This would see Cork City Council and Cork County Council operating on a joint statutory city and county basis serving the entirety of the region of Cork city and county.

The report is available at: housing.gov.ie/local-government/reform/boundaries/report-expert-advisory-group-local-government-arrangements-cork.

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