Reform of local government


Sir, – Phil Hogan’s action programme for effective local government is to be broadly welcomed. Specifically in relation to the Cork Metropolitan area, his analysis, sections 7.3.4 and 7.3.5 are, in my view, spot on. There is a good case for having a Cork Metropolitan entity. The Minister is giving the local councils up to five years to look at this. If suitable arrangements are not finalised within this time, he would get involved. Any change then, presumably, would be post the 2019 local elections.

The question I would put respectfully to the Minister is, why wait up to 10 years to do something that is desirable, when you can do it now? A single planning entity for Metropolitan Cork would, in my opinion, give the best chance for strong economic activity in Cork and create jobs. From an exchequer viewpoint it will not cost. – Yours, etc,


Coolbay, Cloyne, Co Cork.

Sir, – Phil Hogan is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the Irish people. Under the guise of reform he has brought in a cynical cost-cutting exercise, which will further undermine democracy in this country rather than enhance it.

Reform of local government is urgently needed. Reform that allows for greater participation by the people in the development and the economies of their local communities, participatory budgets; greater accountability of elected representatives and of employed officials; greater interface between communities and officials; revenue raising powers by local authorities and the right to recall elected representatives.

These would have served the people of Ireland better and would move us in the direction of a more democratic Ireland. – Yours, etc,


Beechdale Grove,

Blessington, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Obviously, Fergus Lynch (October 18th) is not aware that while, for historical sentiment, Kilkenny is referred to as a city, it only has a town council. As such it is one of the town councils to be abolished in 2014, which will result in Kilkenny town becoming a municipal district.

Perhaps there is a lesson here not to jump to conclusions and assume that a stroke has been played. – Yours, etc,


Rivervalley, Swords, Co Dublin.