The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Declan Hurley, has responded to reports emanating from last night’s City Council meeting at which a boundary proposal made by Cork County Council was discussed.
The Mayor commented:
“Cork County Council submitted a very generous proposal to Cork City Council which would see the geographic area of Cork City increase in size by 85%, thereby allowing Cork City’s population to increase by 39,000 with the capacity of the city population to grow to 283,000 over time. While we await a formal response to our proposals, we are disappointed by the obvious lack of adequate assessment and consideration of the proposal presented by Cork County Council.”
Cllr Hurley emphasised that Cork County Council has invested considerable time and effort in identifying a practical way forward but regrettably its outreach initiative has not been responded to in kind. He noted that the City Council objected to the statutory Smiddy report, and that now the City has also rejected this better and more sensible solution put forward by the County.
Cllr Hurley commented: “The elected members of Cork County Council are unanimous in their support for this offering and we believe that it represents a great opportunity to achieve a successful outcome for this issue and for Cork as a whole.”
The County Council has formally sought clarification from Minister Eoghan Murphy on the scope and remit of the Implementation Group charged with implementing the Mackinnon report, as according to the County Mayor “its workings appear to run contrary to all commentary to date which emphasised that both the City and County should seek to reach agreement on the matter”.
Cllr Hurley added: “I would stress that the County is only participating in the workings of the Implementation Group on a “without prejudice” basis. We have been very clear in advising the Implementation Group that we will not be in a position to submit any boundary line as an agreed proposition until such time as proper discussion and consideration has been undertaken by both Councils on the matter.
Notwithstanding that, we will continue to work with the Implementation Group on defining the issues that would need to be addressed for implementation of any boundary change. This work is merited as we are happy to accede to a boundary adjustment that makes sense and that can be agreed. We believe that all the indications are that agreement locally is what Government wants and we are happy to work on that basis.”