Planned municipal changes ‘ludicrous’
Fears have been raised that recommendations by the Local Electoral Boundary Commission for redrawing municipal district council areas in Co Cork will split communities and remove some from their natural political hinterlands.
The recommendations are to come into effect before next year’s local elections and were prompted by the extension of Cork City Council’s boundary, which will see it take over areas including Ball in col ligand Glanmire.
A number of county council lo rs have expressed concern over the recommendations, especially in West and South Cork. They e criticised the splitting of the West Cork municipal district council into two and the transfer of Courtmacsherry, Timoleague, Darrara, and Barryroe to the Bandon/ Kinsale municipal district.
Fianna Fáil councillor Christopher O’Sullivan said it is “ludicrous” that these communities would be represented by politicians from Bandon and Kinsale when their natural hinterland is Clonakilty.
“This will cause major confusion for these people,” he said. “These communities have a huge connection with West Cork and Clonakilty in particular. They will now be represented by politicians from other towns, yet the area engineer’s office which will still have jurisdiction over them will be in Clonakilty.”
Prior to the last boundary commission recommendation, there were 12 councillors representing the West Cork region. The commission is proposing that it be replaced by a four-seater municipal district council based in Bantry and a five-seater council to cover Clonakilty and Skibbereen.
Independent Bantry-based council lo rD anny Collins also criticised the removal of communities from the control of the West Cork munici- pal districts and said there should be more than four councillors representing the Bantry area as it also controls three peninsulas.
“Transferring the likes of Courtmacsherry and Timoleague to the control of the Bandon/Kinsale municipal district is drastically wrong,” he said. “We had our West Cork municipal meeting in Courtmacsherry last week.”
Skibbereen-based Fianna Fáil councillor Joe Carroll said bureaucrats are “simply drawing lines on maps which made no sense”. He said the commission had recommended changes which would see people living four miles from Skibbereen being administered by the new Bantry municipal district “which was crazy”.
However, one recommendation by the commission was warmly welcomed.
Currently, Carrigaline is split, some of it governed by the Ball incollig/ Car rig aline municipal district council and the remainder by Bandon/Kinsale. Minane Bridge-based Fine Gael councillor Aidan Lombard welcomed the recommendation that all of Carrigaline will come under a new Carrigaline municipal district.
Christopher O’Sullivan: Move ‘will cause major confusion’.