Councillor concerned for funding after move to city

Councillor concerned for funding after move to city

Map showing the old city boundary and the new expanded Cork City Council boundary which comes into effect in May 2019.

CITY Hall cannot deliver on promises to maintain existing funding for areas coming into the City Council, according to Fine Gael councillor Derry Canty.

Mr Canty, from Ballincollig, and fellow Fine Gael county councillor Deirdre Forde, from Douglas, will both be shifting their efforts from County Hall to City Hall next year, after being selected for the party’s City Council ticket on Friday.

Mr Canty, a former County Mayor who has held a seat for 28 years, said that it will be a big change if he is elected to a new local authority, but said that he wanted to provide continuity for people in Ballincollig.

He was a vocal opponent of the boundary expansion but said that people in Ballincollig now have no choice but to make it work.

“People are still angry, but the view is that we put up a good fight but now it’s done and dusted,” he said.

He said that there are serious concerns over funding for community projects in Ballincollig.

“City Hall says nothing will change, but something has to change - the money isn’t there.

“Will we get the same amount of money or will we get put back? Will there be changes to funding for things like the regional park?” he said.

His running mate Garrett Kelleher, who narrowly missed out on a seat in 2014, cautiously welcomed the expansion but has similar concerns about funding.

“The fact that Ballincollig mushroomed up and never had a town council meant that voluntary groups were more important. We had a good relationship with County Hall, but the early signs are that the relationship with City Hall will be equally good.”

Ms Forde said her area will be able to push ahead after being left go to the wayside during the negotiation process. She said that she experienced that first hand when she tried to get County Council funding for a pilot programme to integrate business owners’ views into the council’s strategies.

“I was told it wouldn’t be prudent to fund it because the area was going into the city. I was shocked,” she said.

She said that the new City Council will be able to catch up on these issues, saying that she wants to see new efforts made to integrate the suburbs into the city by tackling congestion while providing services for locals.

“The issue with Douglas is everyone wants to live here, but nobody wants to leave. New houses have to be built, but I also want to see office space and childcare,” she said.

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