TOWN COUN­CIL RE­TURN?

Mid Louth Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By HU­BERT MUR­PHY

THERE is grow­ing spec­u­la­tion that Ardee’s Town Coun­cil will re­turn in time for the 2019 lo­cal elec­tions.

But it re­mains to be seen if it will in­cor­po­rate the Mid Louth area coun­cil or be a stand alone body.

Mid Louth may well see the ad­di­tion of two fur­ther coun­cil­lors with changes also likely for Drogheda and Dun­dalk. The re­turn of the Drogheda Bor­ough Coun­cil has long been sought by coun­cil­lors in the Boy­ne­side town.

All as­pects of lo­cal gov­ern­ment are 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.

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 Louth County Coun­cil civic build­ing in 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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.