HARD pressed householders will be delighted to learn that the number of councillors serving the city and county is to be reduced from 38 to 24 under the rationalisation of local governmen, a reduction of one third. It will bring financial savings and streamlining local government in Kilkenny.
The cull will coincide with next year’s local elections and will mean that in June of this year, the Borough Council will meet to elect a mayor of the city for the very last time. Cllr Martin Brett of Fine Gael is likely to be the last first Citizen elected in this way thanks to a pact with Labour and th Green Party.
It will bring hudreds of years of histroy to an end. The Borough Council which was the Corporation will become a “muncipal area” of the countyAnd the 12 councillors of the Borough Council will no longer exst. The city municpal aeraa is set to take in a large area of rural Kilkenny which means the representatives of the city will no longer chose the Mayor leaving it open to have a mayor of the entire ity and county instead, again doing away with over 400 years of history and custom.
And no one seems to know what will happen the power, up to now, vested in the Borough Council, to create freemen of the city which brings with it certain entitlements and one of the few responsibilities that councillors have. The last two remaining are former Ceann Comharle, Seamus Pattison and Kilkenny senior hurling supremo, Brian Cody. And what will happen the cereomial sword and sceptre in City Hall used at various times during the year. It would sem that the indepemdne of City Hasll could also be a t n end with servoces bring subsumed into the Kilkenny Muncipal area structure whch has its headquarters at County Hall.
Two of the 26 members of Kilkenny County Council also seem destined to lose their seats inthe shake-up while it is likely that the existing electoral areas; Ballyragget, Piltown, Thomastown and Callan will remain as “Municapl” areas. It also looks likely that the Tullaroan area will me merged into the North Kilkenny municpal area, or as it will be known, the Ballyragget muncipal area.