By BRIAN MOORE
‘THIS is a land grab and a money grab, it’s as simple as that,’ Cllr Pat Gerard Murphy (FF) told a special meeting of Cork County Council called to debate the proposed redrawing of the city boundary.
Following what has been described as the most significant revamp of local government in the history of the State, a report conducted by an expert advisory group, chaired by the former chief planner for Scotland, Jim McKinnon, concluded that Cork city should expand to include Little Island, Cork Airport, Ballincollig, Douglas, Carrigtwohill, Blarney and parts of Passage West. This change to the city boundary would mean that revenue and land available to the County Council would be redirected for use by the City Council.
County chief executive Tim Lucey said: ‘It is this Council’s view that where we should be working together to minimise any obstacles or governance that would hinder the continued development of Cork city and county – this boundary change will negatively affect this.
‘It must be also stated that 80% of all future economic development is earmarked to take place within the proposed new Cork city boundary.’
‘This report is a blatant attack on the rural towns of West Cork,’ Cllr Joe Carroll said.
The Expert Advisory Group also proposes the transfer of up to 100 County Council employees to the city administration. ‘We, as a county, are facing a very serious predicament,’ Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) told the meeting. ‘What will happen now?’ Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF) asked. ‘The people of the county have been given no say in any of this.’