Tuesday 12 December 2017

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Cork Independent

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A compromise was made

Wednesday, 6th December, 2017 6:04pm

The long running saga is coming to end and a new Cork city boundary could finally be on the way.

News came to light on Monday that the latest in a series of engagements between Cork’s two local authorities and the Implementation Oversight Group (IOG) was taking place that morning with political and executive representatives from both sides meeting with the IOG - the group appointed to oversee the boundary extension.

A compromise was made between Cork City and Cork County Council and the elected members of both councils were subsequently briefed on Monday evening in relation to progress made on agreeing a boundary alteration.

It is understood that the Chair of the IOG, John O’Connor, will this week deliver his report defining a revised city boundary to the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, who established the IOG.

A spokesman for Minister Murphy told the Cork Independent on Wednesday that his office was expecting the report “shortly”.

The new deal, if accepted by Minster Murphy, will double the city's population to above 200,000.

During the summer, the MacKinnon Report was published which recommended that the new boundary includes areas like Glanmire, Little Island, Ballincollig, Blarney, Carrigtwohill as well as the area around Cork Airport.

However, Cork County Council wouldn’t agree to this and a compromise was agreed between Cork city and county on Monday.

Most of Cork Harbour, Little Island and East Cork will remain in the county while some of Ballincollig, Blarney, Tower, Glanmire, and Cork Airport will now be part of Cork City Council’s remit.

Previous to the MacKinnon report was a now shelved report, so called the ‘Smiddy Report’ chaired by Alf Smiddy which recommended merging Cork city and county council into one super council in September 2015 (See page 7).

The Lord Mayor, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald described the outcome of Monday’s engagement as positive while County Mayor, Cllr Declan Hurley, expressed his satisfaction that both sides have achieved considerable progress.

He said: “While Cork County Council is ceding significant territory to the city, it will continue to retain responsibility for a large portion of its overall strategic employment areas (for example, areas such as those surrounding the entire Cork Harbour, Little Island, and East Cork, will remain in the county).

“Both Councils acknowledged that it was unlikely that they would each achieve all that they individually sought to achieve. Today's developments provide a solid basis to move forward - on a joint collaborative basis - to drive the entire city and county of Cork as the leading economic region outside of Dublin, and that is great news for Cork,” he said.

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