City Hall, the seat of the former Kilkenny Borough Council
Local councillors are to write to Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government John Paul Phelan to seek an ‘urgent’ meeting to discuss proposals around re-instating Kilkenny Borough Council.
At Friday’s meeting of the Kilkenny City Municipal District, a number of councillors expressed concerns that there had been no consultation with them as yet. They called for a meeting to be held, in public, to discuss the matter.
Cllr Malcolm Noonan said there was a need for a meeting 'as a matter of urgency', and that it should be a public meeting. The Green Party councillor said there was an opportunity now to rectify the mistake of abolishing the borough council, but that the timeframe was a short one. Cllr Patrick McKee (FF) agreed.
"I think an evening meeting is important - this 2pm/2.30pm doesn't suit the members of the public. The borough council used to have an evening meeting and we have lost that," he said.
"I think it's important to have it in the evening so that members of the public can come in here and here what the minister has to say. I think we should write to the minister asking that."
Cllr Andrew McGuinness (FF) seconded this. He said he had previously brought a proposal requesting the borough council be reinstated with its own budget, seeking a response. He said Minister of State Phelan had then been quoted in newspapers discussing the issue a number of weeks ago.
"Any response we're getting is in the form of a press release," he said.
"There was no contact with us or the council."
Cllr David Fitzgerald (FG) said he concurred with his colleagues in relation to the need for a meeting with the junior minister.
"Any meeting with him should be open to the public, and I think it should be open to all 24 members of Kilkenny County Council," he said.
"[They] are affected by any change to local Government as well."