City To Extend Into South Cork
Writes Jack White
South Cork is to see a new split as Cork City Council’s boundary will extend to take in Douglas, Donnybrook, Grange, Frankfield, Rochestown and Cork Airport, if the findings of the local government review are implemented. The findings would see Passage West, Monkstown, Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy stay within Cork County Council’s boundary.
The report, published last Friday for the Expert Advisory Group on Local Government Arrangements in Cork, follows a review headed up by Scotland’s former Chief Planner Jim Mackinnon. It recommends retaining two separate local authorities while granting Cork City a boundary extension.
On Monday night, at Cork City Council’s meeting in City Hall, city councillors accepted the findings of the review without debate which would see the first boundary extension in over fifty years.
With Cork County Councillors expressing grave concern about potential lost revenues to the county, the report proposes that Cork City Council would compensate Cork County Council to the tune of €40million per annum for ten years, to account for the loss of revenue from commercial rates and local property tax.
While Cork City councillors seem enthusiastic about the report’s findings, there is a different mood amongst the councillors in Cork County with Carrigaline based councillor and outgoing Mayor of Cork County Seamus McGrath saying, “Cork County Council is not in a position to accept the report’s findings at this time. We are seeking further clarification on a whole range of issues and on Monday, we released an 11 page statement detailing our concerns and questions as an initial assessment. I fully accept there needs to be an extension of the city, but not to the extent proposed and personally, I would have grave concerns about the viability of what remains of the county given what will be a significant hit on our revenue base”.
Cork County Council will also seek clarification on the status of the new report given the existence of the previous statutory Smiddy report from over two years ago which recommended a merger of the two local authorities.
See Page 18 for a map of the proposed boundary extension and reaction and analysis from Carrigaline resident Dr. Frank Crowley, who is a lecturer in the School of Economics, UCC.