Bray could lose one coun­cil­lor in pro­posed elec­toral area changes

Bray People - - NEWS -

THE Bray dis­trict could be left with less vot­ing power in Wick­low if they lose one of their num­ber in a re­view of elec­toral ar­eas.

The doc­u­ment was cir­cu­lated to mem­bers, with a clause say­ing that a dis­trict could have no more than seven mem­bers.

An­other clause said that towns with a pop­u­la­tion of €30,000 or more could be a ‘Bor­ough Coun­cil’.

Dis­trict Man­ager Des O’Brien said that it doesn’t ap­pear that such a coun­cil would have any ex­tra ad­min­is­tra­tive pow­ers. ‘Maybe you can wear er­mine in your robes or some­thing.’

Bray has a pop­u­la­tion of fewer than 29,500, ac­cord­ing to the 2016 cen­sus. Sub­mis­sions on the pro­pos­als can be made up un­til Fe­bru­ary 19.

‘ This is win­dow dress­ing and not to do with what should be dis­cussed,’ said Cllr Joe Be­han. ‘Pow­ers lost by Bray Town Coun­cil as a re­sult of 2014 re­forms.’

He said that the coun­cil had lost au­ton­omy in plan­ning, rates and hous­ing and had lost a huge num­ber of staff. ‘Es­sen­tially be­com­ing one of many sub-com­mit­tees of Wick­low County Coun­cil.’

He said that Bray is a ma­jor town in the county with a huge amount of rev­enue be­ing gen­er­ated. ‘From what I gather if we main­tain this par­tic­u­lar at the mo­ment we won’t be still en­ti­tled to eight mem­bers.’ He sug­gested es­tab­lish­ing two four-seater elec­toral sub-ar­eas.

Cllr Be­han said that Fine Gael had wanted to re­duce the num­ber of large-seat elec­toral ar­eas be­cause too many in­de­pen­dents were be­ing elected on the sev­enth and eighth seats.

‘Seven is com­pletely un­suit- able for us in Bray. We will lose com­par­a­tive power in Wick­low,’

Cathaoir­leach Cllr Christo­pher Fox said that he had a con­ver­sa­tion with CEO Frank Cur­ran and di­rec­tor Tom Mur­phy. ‘ They see no al­ter­na­tive but to put Enniskerry and Kilmacanogue into Grey­stones and leave the town of Bray as an elec­toral area with seven,’ said Cllr Fox.

‘ The dif­fi­culty is that Enniskerry and Kilmacanogue look to Bray for schools, bank­ing, shop­ping - even the post of­fice now is in Bal­ly­waltrim. There doesn’t seem to be con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween Enniskerry and Grey­stones.’

‘ This town and area were screwed in 2014 and now we’re be­ing fur­ther screwed.’ said Cllr Pat Vance.

‘I think it’s fair to say no­body in Wick­low wants eight mem­bers com­ing from Bray. They al­ways wanted to take power away from Bray. When they couldn’t be­cause Bray was a Town Coun­cil the coun­cil screwed it fi­nan­cially.’

Cllr Christo­pher Fox

Cllr Pat Vance

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