SENIOR officials at City Hall expect the arrangements for the boundary changes in Cork to be in place before the Dáil takes its summer recess.
Ann Doherty, chief executive of Cork City Council, has moved to ease any fears about the transition, confirming the city will meet with those in areas that will be affected by the changes.
The implementation oversight group has submitted its recommendation on the changes to the city-county boundary to cabinet, which has accepted the proposals.
Legislation is now being drafted on the basis of these proposals, with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government developing the relevant guidelines to facilitate the changes.
If approved in its current form, it will see the city’s population increase to almost 210,000 and include areas like Ballincollig and Douglas.
Ms Doherty described the decision as ‘very positive’ for the long-term future of Cork.
She said that there is a lot of important work still to do on a local level.
“In terms of making it happen, there is a lot to do,” she said.
“What is important is that we find a mechanism to engage with staff and citizens in the areas affected. There have previously been calls for me or others to meet groups in the areas that may be affected. We have always declined those — not because we didn’t want to meet but because those areas are in the remit of Cork County Council currently.”
Ms Doherty said that it is essential that both local authorities find a way to engage with the people affected so to minimise the impact.
There will be transitional arrangements, including staff transfers, but Ms Doherty played down the impact this will have.
“What is important to remember is that we are two public service bodies staffed by public servants,” she said.
“We are not two disparate private companies. Our ethos is the same, our service delivery methods are the same and our aims are the same.
There is a professionalism on both sides and I am confident that we can bridge these gaps accordingly.”
Ms Doherty confirmed that City Hall will examine its own service delivery to ensure that it can meet the needs of the expanded city but confirmed that she is confident that Cork City Council can do so.