Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly said the main rationale for boundary alteration and the establishment of statutory committee to review local government boundaries in Kilkenny-Waterford was to bring the administrative jurisdictions into line with the current settlement and development position.
“The review is clearly warranted given the significant overspill of population in each of these cases into another county,” the Minister said.
This process follows on from the previous announcements earlier this year (January) in respect of the review of local government arrangements for both Cork and Galway City and County.
Outlining the benefits of boundary updates, the Minister said: “Bringing all of a town or metropolitan district within a single local authority area eliminates anomalies and distortions of divided administration, service provision, regulatory/enforcement responsibility and electoral representation, including problems such as competitive policies and practices between authorities in relation to planning, rating and charges, which can impact negatively on town centres. Consolidation of administrative responsibility can also strengthen the economic performance of the town or metropolitan district, both by eliminating the anomalies I have referred to and ensuring that there is a single authority working on its behalf.”
The committee for the Kilkenny-Waterford boundary commission is: David O’ Connor former Fingal County Manager (Chairman); Ciaran Lynch, Limerick Institute of Technology and former Chief Planner, Clare County Council and Ollie Killeen, former Head of Finance, Limerick County Council.
The groups will be established under section 28 of the Local Government Act 1991, which precludes elected representatives from participating and will act independently. Minister Kelly stated that he was delighted that people of such strong calibre and experience of local government were willing to come forward on a ‘pro-bono’ basis and assist in settling administrative boundaries for these areas. In accordance with sections 32 and 33 of the Local Government Act 1991, the committees will be required to carry out a review of the boundaries between the respective counties, and city and county in the case of Waterford, having regard to the environs of the urban areas in question located in another county. They will make such recommendations with respect to the boundary that they consider to be necessary in the interests of effective and convenient local government; and prepare and furnish to the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, a report in writing of that review and its recommendations. The Kilkenny-Waterford reviews will be completed by November 30 of this year.