Row over city boundary issue simmers on

Row over city boundary issue simmers on
Map showing Belfast city and its boundary, overlayed with Cork city's current city boundary, the city boundary extension proposed by Cork County Council, and the indicative city boundary extension proposed by the Mackinnon expert review group.

THE row over the proposed city boundary extension continues with Cork County Mayor Declan Hurley saying Cork County residents would not necessarily experience a better quality of life if they were brought under city jurisdiction and has called for “real dialogue” between the two local authorities.

Mayor Hurley and Lord Mayor of Cork Tony Fitzgerald have exchanged a number of open letters during the last week making several claims and counter claims on the extent of a proposed city boundary.

City Council wants to take over a number county towns, as outlined in the recently published Mackinnon report, to increase rates and growth while County Council is only prepared to give up lands on the north and south environs of the city.

Earlier this week, Lord Mayor Fitzgerald said county spend per citizen in 2017 was €717, compared to city spending of €1363 per resident.

He added the extra spend would be exemplified by City Council's “proven track record” in community development, sports funding, social inclusion, arts and recreation if the Mckinnon report was implemented and added that housing need would be met.

Mayor Hurley stated the city authority's satisfaction survey, which Lord Mayor Fitzgerald had highlighted as an example of citizen happiness, was outdated – having been published in 2004.

“During the course of the current City boundary debate, there have been claims and counter claims made. What is important is that we all avoid stark statements which are not supported by verifiable facts. The Lord Mayor has wrongly stated that the County’s position was not backed up by facts and we have already addressed this,” said Mayor Hurley.

“He has fallen foul of his own advice in relation to quality of life,“ he added.

He added that 92% of residents in the county had deemed Cork a 'great place to live' in a recent survey, compared to 77% in the city.

“On a more general note, I am saddened by the tenor of the Lord Mayor’s recent letter which appears to reflect a view from within City Hall that it should not have to work jointly with its counterparts in County Hall into the future,” said Mayor Hurley.

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