THE extension of the Cork City Council boundary to include Ballincollig, Glanmire and other areas will not be completed until January 2020.
Local Government Minister John Paul Phelan has introduced the Local Government Bill 2018, which will give effect to the recommendations of the Mackinnon report, moving areas like Ballincollig, Douglas, Blarney, and Glanmire from Cork County Council to Cork City Council.
He said that the bill needs to be passed this year so that it can be implemented by the local elections next May, but the transfer of responsibility for the areas will not be complete until the following year.
A statutory oversight committee is to be established to create an implementation plan which the two councils will be obliged to follow. However, most of the implementation process is expected to be agreed at a local level.
The process will have to provide for a financial settlement between the two councils, with the County Council being compensated over a ten-year period for the loss of income from the areas being moved.
Mr Phelan said that the process will take time, but will not be drawn out.
“This legislation will need to be enacted this year to enable all necessary action to be completed in time for the local elections in mid-2019. While the boundary alteration and transfer of local authority jurisdiction will take full legal effect in mid-2019, the legislation will provide appropriate flexibility in relation to operational arrangements so that transfer of practical responsibility for certain functions can proceed on a more gradual basis, if necessary, to allow time for organisational changes to be completed.
“However, it is expected that the transfer arrangements will proceed quickly once the legislation is enacted and that this will not be a drawn-out process. Responsibility for the detailed planning and implementation of the reorganisation involved will rest primarily with the local authorities, subject to guidance and oversight by the oversight committee and compliance with the implementation plan.
“I acknowledge the enormous work that the Cork implementation oversight group, along with the two chief executives and key members of their teams, have put into teasing out the various implications and arrangements that a boundary change on this scale entails,” he said.