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Councillors to be briefed on city boundary report

Wednesday, 12th July, 2017 5:44pm

City councillors are meeting the chair of the committee who recommended a city boundary extension next week.

Jim MacKinnon, who was the chair of the expert advisory group on local government arrangements in Cork, will brief the councillors and city council officials next Wednesday, 19 July, on the report.

His report came after a previous report, now shelved, recommended merging the local authorities, Cork city and county council.

Following news that the city’s boundary could be extended, the county council revealed that it had several issues with the report’s findings.

News of the city boundary extension briefing, which won’t be public, emerged at Monday’s meeting of Cork City Council.

There was a cross party opinion that the process of extending the city boundary needs to start as soon as it can.

Some councillors also said that the county council needs to be brought on board and that the people of Cork, specifically those effected by the boundary extension, need to be engaged with.

Although the city’s new extension has yet to be confirmed, the Mackinnon report – which was published last month – recommends that the new boundary includes areas like Glanmire, Little Island, Ballincollig, Blarney, Carrigtwohill as well as the area around Cork Airport.

Sinn Féin’s Chris O’Leary said that councillors need to start looking and moving forward so as the government can begin to proceed with the process of extending the boundary.

He added: “It now requires the government to take it and to move it on. Unless this happens, we will be here with another report being shelved.”

His partymate Mick Nugent said he was looking forward to the meeting with Mr MacKinnon and advised that Cork City Council, in the autumn, begin to engage with the people living in those areas where the boundary will extend to.

Independent Cllr Mick Finn said that it now needs legislative action.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Terry Shannon said: “I would ask that we have a measured debate, that we would have an informed debate.” His party colleague Tim Brosnan said he wanted to refute suggestions that Cork City Council was engaged “in a land grab”.

He added: “It’s about the services and the people living in these areas now, not how many managers we have.”

Fine Gael’s John Buttimer agreed with Cllr Brosnan that it wasn’t a land grab. “We need to be able to create and enhance the existing communities,” he said.

Cllr Fergal Dennehy (FF) said that we need to get ball rolling straight away, while Sinn Féin’s Thomas Gould: “We need to try and get the county council on board.”

Deputy Chief Executive Pat Ledwidge said that the MacKinnon report merits reading and people shouldn’t just read summary or media reports.

“I am disappointed with some public commentary,” he said.

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