4 September 2017, 10pm
By Bryan Smyth
At a special meeting of Cork County Council, elected members were briefed in full on the current status of the ongoing deliberations on the proposed alteration of the boundary of Cork City Council.
The 2pm meeting was held ‘in committee’, meaing that no media or public were allowed, however the County Council kindly released a statement this evening from which we can now report the following.
Cork County Councillors highlighted the fact that communities from across the length and breadth of Cork county have expressed grave concerns at the impact that the Mackinnon report would have, if implemented, on the future delivery of services across the county. Councillors complimented the various communities for expressing their views so clearly and so vociferously.
The County Mayor, Cllr Declan Hurley commented:
“Cork County Council is unanimous in its view that the lack of public consultation and engagement with communities up until this point has been deplorable. It has resulted in a situation whereby the process that is being proposed by Government to expand the City boundary has come as a major surprise to communities. Communities cannot understand how such a deeply flawed approach was taken given the seriousness and magnitude of the situation”.
The County Mayor continued:
“There is serious annoyance and frustration in the County Council chamber at the fact that there has been no response whatsoever from the Minister in relation to the Council’s queries in relation to the role and remit of the Implementation Oversight Group. We are also extremely disappointed with the rejection of the Council’s recent offer to Cork City Council. This indicates to me that the City Council appear to be unwilling to engage in any discussions on the County’s proposal.”
“Notwithstanding this, Cork County Council has always valued the views of communities and other key stakeholders. We are committed to listening to these views, considering them, and acting upon them insofar as is possible. At today’s meeting, the Council agreed to advance matters by deciding – unanimously – to submit a formal boundary alteration proposal to Cork City Council for its consideration. This will be a statutory proposal, and is being done in accordance with Section 29 of the Local Government Act 1991. This approach provides for public consultation whereby all stakeholders – including community groups from across Cork – can have their say.”
“In addition, I can also confirm that Cork County Council has decided to seek immediate advice with regard to the legal options available to it in the event that the Minister proceeds to alter the boundary in line with the Mackinnon report.”
“We feel very strongly about this as a Council. We have a duty to represent the interests of people from across all of County Cork, from Castletownbere to Youghal, from Charleville to Carrigaline, and all areas in between. Common sense must prevail. I am committed to making every effort to ensure that whatever changes are made are in the best interests of all of Cork”.