Spillane: boundary plan is ‘a land grab’
MEANWHILE, COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT RECOMMENDSRELINQUISINGJUST4AREAS
ONE of the country’s leading advocates of rural communities has hit out at plans to extend the Cork City boundary as a ‘ land grab’.
GAA pundit Pat Spillane made the comments at the recent AGM of Muintir na Tíre in Laois in the course of a wide-ranging debate on the myriad serious challenges facing rural life in Ireland.
His comments came as Cork County Council fired off its first formal salvo in the fight to retain as much lands as possible - in the shape of a report recommending the County cede just Frankfield, Douglas, Grange and Ballyvolane. This would leave the County Council with a budget deficit of €8.6 million per annum, rather than the €50 million-a-year hole that the Mackinnon report would represent to the county budget.
The Mackinnon report recommends Cork City should expand to take in Cork Airport, Ballincollig, Blarney, Glanmire, Glounthaune, Little Island,and Carrigtwohill. If the Government proposal succeeds, it is feared the county would be left struggling to provide its current level of services.
Pat Spillane lent his weight to the debate on Saturday in response to Cork county Muintir na Tíre delegates who said Mckinnon would mean a ‘ huge transfer of resources’ from rural Ireland to the city. Mr Spillane concurred, describing the proposal as ‘nothing short of a land grab’ by the City Council.
Fianna Fáil leader and former Cork City Councillor Mícheál Martin meanwhile called for an end to ‘ scaremongering on the issue’ and for all sides to work together towards facilitating the general thrust of Mckinnon, which he described as ‘reasonable’.
Cork County Council’s formal proposal – to cede the areas of Frankfield, Grange, Douglas and Ballyvolane which have a combined population of 39,258 residents, was adopted at County Hall on Monday after councillors invoked Section 29 of the Local Government Act. The proposal would see the city population swell to 164,915, but taking in greenfield sites would allow scope to grow the population to nearly 284,000; representing a rate of urban growth density in line with the principles of the National Planning Framework.
There are also concerns within the County Council on the impact on staffing with the authority insisting workers be continuously updated on any transfers to City Hall as a result of changes. 211 staff would transfer to the city under the County proposal, which will be decided on in six months.
GAA pundit and rural campaigner Pat Spillane has criticised proposals to extend the Cork City boundary