5 December 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Sinn Féin has given a welcome to the expansion of the City Boundary, agreed in principle between City and County Council today.
Sinn Féin TD for Cork South Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire commended the Party’s City & County Cllrs for their work on the issue, saying:
“Sinn Féin was the only party to have the same position in City and County from the beginning, and we held to that position.
“From the outset, we said that, the status quo is unsustainable, and that a sensible expansion of the City Boundary with a strong sustainable County Council, along with strong cooperation between the two, was the best option.
“We believe Sinn Féin’s strong opposition to a crude merger of City and County, which would have been detrimental to City & County, was central to putting the expansion of the City Boundary, back on to the Agenda.
“A merger would have meant there would not have been adequate focus on developing a strong City as a counterbalance to Dublin, but it would also have meant that the peripheral rural areas of Cork City would have been neglected.
“Once that was off the table, there was space to negotiate and develop a sensible boundary expansion, which is what has been the outcome.
“This offers us the opportunity for Cork to reach its full potential. The expansion of the City Boundary allows Cork to plan for the future of City and County for the next 30 years, to enter in to a new era of Councils working in close collaboration with each other, and to show a vision that can deliver a thriving City, and a prosperous County., as is outlined in the Cork 2050 policy framework both Councils worked on.
“The boundaries outlined represent a reasoned compromise between the City and County Councils and show what is possible through dialogue.
“We must now build on this. Crucially, the proposals around the financial arrangements between City and County need to be gotten right and firmed up. We need to ensure that rural areas and County Towns get the services they deserve, and to thrive.
“The McKinnon proposals, proposed a body which would be responsible for certain planning functions and cooperation between the two Councils, on a regional basis for the metropolitan Cork Region. We believe this should be County-wide and more democratically representative.
“This is a good news story. It finally allows us to move on after years of stalemate. If the right steps are taken to follow on from this, it can offer a new beginning for Cork, and deliver for the people of City & County.”