Cork councils in a turf war over planned new boundaries

Cork councils in a turf war over planned new boundaries
An overview of the proposed new city boundary.

CORK’S two local authorities are now fully engaged in a turf war over the controversial proposal to extend the city boundary.

Cork City Council has now formally accepted the proposal to extend to the city boundary into larges swathes of county areas, but Cork County Council has vowed to fight against the plans and raised questions as to its legality.

The MacKinnon Report, launched on Friday by Local Government Minister Simon Coveney, recommends that Ballincollig, Blarney, Glounthane, Carrigtwohill, Glanmire, Little Island and Cork Airport are moved into the city jurisdiction.

However, Cork County Council chief executive Tim Lucey said the proposal would rob some rural communities of their identity and damage towns and villages all across Cork.

He seeking clarification on the legal status of the report.

In contrast, the City Council wants to push ahead with the boundary extension straightaway.

Mr Lucey is seeking clarification on the legal status of the report.

In contrast, the City Council wants to push ahead with the boundary extension straightaway.

The move would boost the city's population by 100,000, moving a number of significant commercial rates and property tax bases into the city authority.

Minister Coveney has set the ambitious target of 2019 for the implementation of the changes.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Des Cahill, last night issued a statement, urging the City Council to accept the recommendations and press ahead with the changes as a matter of urgency.

Mr Cahill said, “For the benefit of Cork and the role that Cork City needs to play as the country’s second city and as the driver of economic development of the region, it is essential that the process would now move quickly to implementation.” 

Councillors voted to 'formally accept' the recommendations, calling on the local authority to write to the Minister to inform him of the decision in the hopes of establishing an implementation group as soon as possible.

The single dissenting voice in City Hall came from Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy, who raised concerns about the use of the word 'accept' instead of 'note.'

The Independent representative said that many of the finer details - such as the volume of compensation agreeable to be paid each year - have yet to be hammered out and urged city officials not to get ahead of themselves in the process.

It is understood that elected members will meet early next week in a behind-closed-doors session to discuss the implications of the changes.

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