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Readers Blog: City should be extended but it needs to be funded

Firstly may I say I support the idea that Cork City should be extended into a large metropolitan area encompass-ing Douglas, Ballincollig, Little Island, Cork Airport, Blarney, and Carrigtwohill. Moreover, I would go further and also include Ringaskiddy, Currabinny, Carrigaline and possibly even Cobh in this new Metro area.

This would be to ensure that all the major industrial zones and population are part of one large whole.

Thereby giving the enlarged area much more clout and influence (assuming it was well run).

Currently, there is nearly more “Cork” people living and working outside the city boundary than within. The madness of Douglas being “County” illustrates the point.

Indeed in the late 1980s, I was once on an audit in Togher during my KPMG Stokes Kennedy Crowley days in Lehenaghmore Industrial Estate. Our expense claims for a lunch allowance ( only permissable outside the city limits) were rejected by our audit manager.

We resubmitted the expense claim attaching photocopies of the Cork County Council rates bill for the audit client and were duly paid. A minor victory for humble trainee accoutants. The ultimate irony being that the audit was about 50 yards on the county side of the small Togher stream — the city boundary — and we used to have our lunch in the then Doughcloyne Inn, which was the other side of the stream, inside the city.

One big question, however, is perplexing me. Current proposals envisage the city council compensating the county council for loss of rates income in the areas surrendered. How is the city council supposed to be able to operate in these new areas without any additional income?

It looks a sweet deal for the county council which gets to keep all its money but loses a lot of its costs.

This is redolent of the the set up of the HSE but with no redundancies in the former health boards.

Or the set up of Irish Water with no cuts in the water departments of the county councils.

Just a thought. How is this going to work?

Aodan McCaul
Co Cork


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