Cork City and County Mayors united in call for stimulus package

The mayors of Cork city and county have called for a multimillion-euro Government stimulus package as both local authorities embark on unprecedented reorganisation.

Lord Mayor Mick Finn and Cork County Mayor Patrick Gerard Murphy united to make the call against the background of the first city boundary extension in more than 50 years.

Legislation is due soon to give effect to the extension, which will see the county council cede vast tracts of land to the city council and the city’s population increase by some 100,000 to almost 220,000.

Both mayors have sought a joint meeting with Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, and Justice Department minister of state David Stanton, to ask them to facilitate a meeting with the Taoiseach and finance minister.

The mayors believe a stimulus package would facilitate the transition during the boundary extension process and help forge a fresh approach to driving economic performance.

In a joint statement, they said: “We both want Cork to prosper and grow and ensure that both councils can hit the ground running when legislation is enacted.

“As was the case with the reconfiguration of the Limerick councils — with the support of then finance minister Michael Noonan — we are calling on Government and our local ministers Coveney, Creed, and Stanton to provide Cork with a multimillion-euro stimulus package to ensure we can thrive in the boundary reconfiguration and can operate effectively right from the off.

“We also call on all of Cork’s TDs and senators to row in behind this initiative.

“We are pleased that Limerick received a multimillion-euro cash injection from the then government. We see no reason why Cork should be disadvantaged.”

They said a lot of energy has been and will be expended on delivering the Boundary Commission recommendations, and they said Cork must be assisted in the rollout and operation of the new jurisdictions so it can be the counterbalance to Dublin as designed under the 2040 Development Plans.

They pointed to the potential impact of Brexit, given the region’s dependence on the food and drink sector.

“We need to be in a position to cope, to meet this and other challenges,” they said.

They stressed the need to promote Cork to overseas markets and investors, and to promote investment in the region’s bio-pharma, agri food, financial, and technology sectors.

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