All changed as Hogan slices up electoral areas

The new Kilkenny electoral areas, effective as of next year's local elections. The borough council will be abolished, while much of the present Callan and Thomastown areas will become 'City East and 'City West'.
Kilkenny will lose two local representatives and one electoral area next year, with much of the current Callan and Thomastown areas to be merged into Kilkenny City West and Kilkenny City East respectively, and the borough council abolished. The Ballyragget electoral area will become the much-larger Castlecomer electoral area, while Piltown appears to have largely escaped changes.

Kilkenny will lose two local representatives and one electoral area next year, with much of the current Callan and Thomastown areas to be merged into Kilkenny City West and Kilkenny City East respectively, and the borough council abolished. The Ballyragget electoral area will become the much-larger Castlecomer electoral area, while Piltown appears to have largely escaped changes.

Although Kilkenny will be down two councillors, Dublin is to gain 53 new ones. The changes, which will take effect from the 2014 local elections, are part of a radical shake-up of electoral boundaries driven by Minister for the Environment and Local Government Phil Hogan.

The changes come recommended in the Report of the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee, which was published yesterday. Minister Hogan says that he has accepted in full the recommendations, and that he will be making the necessary local electoral area orders to give effect to them.

“The completion of this report is an important next step in the Government’s programme for local government reform,” he said.

“The review had a specific goal of improving balance and consistency in representational ratios in local government, while taking particular account of factors such as the location of towns in the new municipal governance arrangements provided for in the Action Programme for Effective Local Government. The terms of reference for the review provided for minimum levels of representation in lower population counties and cities.”

Arising from the recommendations in the report a total of 949 councillors will be elected at the 2014 elections, in 137 local electoral areas, for 31 local authorities. This is a reduction from the current 1,627 councillors.

For reaction to the changes from local councillors, see next Wednesday’s Kilkenny People.