Cork Councillors slated for stalling boundary extension

Cork’s county councillors have been accused of abusing a provision of the 1991 Local Government Act to stall the extension of the city boundary.

The claim came from veteran city councillor Tim Brosnan last night, after city councillors were briefed on their engagement with the group set up to implement the Mackinnon boundary proposals.

City CEO Ann Doherty said she and her team presented their enlarged city boundary proposal to the implementation group last week, and are now working on a range of issues before its next meeting later this month.

But Mr Brosnan slated county councillors, who earlier yesterday triggered a formal process which proposes ceding a smaller area of land to the city.

“While Cork County Council may have a legal entitlement to propose a boundary alteration under Section 29(1)a of the 1991 Local Government Act, the exercise of such a right in the current context can only be regarded as no more than a purposeful attempt to frustrate the work of the implementation group set up by Minister Eoghan Murphy to address this complex issue,” Mr Brosnan said.

“But have they lost their marbles out in County Hall? It was never meant for the purpose for which they are using it now. They are using it as a stalling mechanism. What is most concerning to me is that an arm of government, which is honour-bound to uphold the spirit and intendment of the law, would seek to abuse the provisions of the 1991 Local Government Act for their own selfish ends.

“The County Council is not interested in removing the straight jacket that has bound the city since 1965 — rather it wants to loosen the belts on the jacket to the minimum possible. This approach is unsustainable and lacks leadership and regional foresight and vision.

“The county’s suggestion that we now scrap the recommendations of MacKinnon in favour of a proposal which benefits only Cork County Council is born of an unwillingness to treat the growth of Cork, city and county, seriously and should be treated with the contempt it deserves,” he said.

Party colleague, Cllr Tom O’Driscoll blasted “unfair and inaccurate” commentary on the boundary issue in recent weeks, which he said had been damaging.

“I accept there is a counter view, but it’s a bit low to start questioning the competence of management, staff and members, and by focusing on some negative problems without mentioning the wonderful stuff. We have proposals for five hotels, proposals for Horgan’s Quay, developments on Albert Quay and the recent opening of Páirc Uí Chaoimh.”

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy said it was time for the city to explain to affected communities its vision for an expanded city.

Sinn Féin Cllr Chris O’Leary said the city will rely on facts and evidence, and not on the language of land or tax grabs, as it works towards implementing the boundary extension.

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