THE return of Ardee’s Town Council - and an increase to eight councillors - and a reduction of two councillors in the Drogheda area - but the restoration of the Borough Council - are all on the agenda as part of the local authority boundary review, which is expected to be published next March.
That will give councillors a year to plot their future in advance of the next local elections.
Minister of State with special responsibility for Local Government, John Paul Phelan, has said that nothing has been decided in relation to the proposals and the review of any boundaries will be decided by an independent committee.
However, there is intense speculation that both Ardee and Drogheda could be recognised in the new plan.
The government is believed to favour smaller geographical areas of four or five seats and even three seats that could lead to even more reduced numbers on the respective Town and Borough Councils and the establishment of more areas such as Mid and South Louth as stand alone districts.
Mid Louth councillors have already questioned the size of that district that stretches from Killanny on the Monaghan border to Clogherhead and how that can be best served.
Amendments to the Dail constituencies and local electoral area boundaries are made by the Constituencies Commission after each census taking the new population figures into account.
Minister John Paul Phelan stated at the conference of the Association of Irish Local Government held recently that the new report on the local areas will be published in March. It is being advanced in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
The most recent review of local electoral areas was carried out from November 2012 to May 2013 by a boundary committee in advance of the 2014 local elections. Local electoral area reviews were also carried out by boundary committees in 2008, 1998 and 1985.
On that occasion, both Ardee and Drogheda were downgraded, losing their town and borough status.
The Minister said he is aware that concerns have been raised by a number of local authority members across different local authorities and by the Association of Irish Local Government relating to the territorial size of some areas.
It’s been claimed this can leave councillors with problems keeping abreast of local issues. There is also a belief that the likes of Ardee has lost out as a town due to being grouped with the entire Mid Louth area and the same with Drogheda.
Local councillors in the district say that powers have been diluted as a result of the last review and are demanding change and the re-establishment of a Town Clerk for Drogheda and Ardee.
The last Ardee Town Council team....Padraig Judge, engineer, Cllr Michael Farrelly, Cllr Jim Tenanty, Cllr Pearse McGeough, Cllr Leonard Hatrick, Cllr Padraig McKenny, Town clerk Joe McGuinness. Front l to r: Dolores Minogue, Cllr Fintan Malone, Cllr Finnan McCoy, Cllr Mary Kavanagh.