Cork County Council accused of delaying boundary extension

Council members last week voted against a deal agreed by county and city chiefs

FF Cllr Terry Shannon said he believed Cork County Council was intent on making an agreement on a boundary impossible.

FF Cllr Terry Shannon said he believed Cork County Council was intent on making an agreement on a boundary impossible.

 

Members of Cork County Council who voted against a controversial boundary extension for the Cork city area have been accused of trying to delay the process so the Government abandons the plan.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Terry Shannon said it was clear Cork County Council never bought into the negotiation process over the boundary, which would see the local authority cede land to Cork City Council.

Cork County Council members last week voted by 28 votes to five against the deal, which had been agreed by its chief executive Tim Lucey with Ann Doherty, chief executive of Cork City Council.

Mr Lucey, Ms Doherty and their negotiating teams agreed on a compromise earlier this month, which involved Ballincollig, Cork Airport, Glanmire, Blarney and Tower all transferring into the Cork city area. The area was smaller than that proposed in the Mackinnon Local Government Review, which also recommended the transfer of Little Island and Carrigtwohill.

The boundary extension would see the population of Cork city increase to over 200,000.
The boundary extension would see the population of Cork city increase to over 200,000.

Cork County Council rejected the deal at a meeting on December 15th.

Mr Shannon, a former lord mayor of Cork city, said Minister for Local Government Eoghan Murphy should introduce legislation in the Dáil to enable the compromise deal.

He added he dealt with the county council “in good faith” when the agreement was reached, but it appeared later they were “running down the clock to delay and stall the process”.

Mr Shannon said he believed Cork County Council was intent on making an agreement on a boundary impossible, with a view to prompting the Government to abandon the plan. Instead, he said, its aim was for a unified local authority for the whole of Cork.

He accused county councillors, who raised concern about the inclusion of Blarney and Tower, of failing to realise Cork County Council had already conceded the two villages to the city in a previous local government reform proposal, the Smiddy report.

Mr Shannon dismissed a claim by some county councillors that the city council had engaged in a land grab. He said the city had actually ceded significant tracts of land to the county.