Transfer of staff from County Hall to City Hall a major issue ahead of boundary extension

Transfer of staff from County Hall to City Hall a major issue ahead of boundary extension
Map showing the old city boundary and the new expanded Cork City Council boundary which comes into effect in May 2019.

DISCUSSIONS are ongoing, behind the scenes, to determine the extent of the staff transfer between City Hall and County Hall before the extension of the city boundary next year.

After the local election in May, the city boundary will be extended to include Ballincollig, Glanmire, Douglas, and other areas. It will represent a huge population shift and a significant number of services will move into the city, too.

Major amenities, like Ballincollig Regional Park, will come under city control, while there will also be greater demands put on everyday services, like waste collection, housing, and environment work.

Both Cork City Council and Cork County Council have transition teams to identify the needs and levels in both local authorities to ensure that services are not disrupted, Ann Doherty, the chief executive of Cork City Council, said: “There is detailed discussion ongoing about every single line, every single item of service that needs to be considered,” she said.

“That includes staff numbers and grades of staff who are associated with the delivery of services in those transfer areas.”

An open call for expressions of interest will be made when these agreements are in place to see which staff want to move.

Afterwards, an agreed process, laid out under the Public Services Agreement, will kick in. “We need to remember that it is two public sector organisations who practice in similar areas and we are all public servants, who are here to deliver a public service.

“I know that the staff of both organisations will come together to ensure that the transition is smooth,” Ms Doherty said.

Last month, concerns were raised in the Seanad about the shortage of County Hall staff members that were willing to transfer to the City Council.

It is believed that 200 staff members will need to move to the city authority to ensure a smooth transition.

Senator Tim Lombard (FG) has cautioned that matters regarding the transfer of staff need to be addressed by the Government, or Cork County Council may still be delivering services in areas over which it no longer has jurisdiction and for a number of years after the city extension comes into effect.

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