THE Lord Mayor of Cork city, Cllr Mick Finn and the City Council’s chief executive Ann Doherty last night welcomed the passage through the Seanad and Dáil of legislation sanctioning the city's boundary extension.
The Lord Mayor said: ‘This is an historic time for Cork which is set to further develop its huge potential. This will pave the way for the expansion of Cork City for the first time in 50 years which will have hugely positive implications for housing, transport and other infrastructural development and investment in the years ahead.’
He added: ‘The ‘green light’ from both the Dáil and Seanad – which now just has to be signed into law by President Higgins – will accelerate a transition process already underway between the City and County Councils. Huge work has gone into the transfer of electoral data for the registers which will be published in mid April and which will outline the new Local Election Areas (LEAS) in which people will vote. Staff, asset management and service issues are also being worked on in advance of the city expansion which will come into force on June 4th when the new Cork City Council meets,’ he said.
‘Because the population of the city will expand by over 85,000 to over 210,000, and because the city’s geographical footprint will quadruple, there will be changes to city council management and operational systems which also are being worked on. A public information campaign will inform residents, city and county councillors and potential candidates about the changes in advance of elections on May 24,’ the Lord Mayor added.
Cork City Council chief executive Ann Doherty said it was a ‘significant milestone’ in the history of Cork city and in the development of the second city as a real and sustainable counterbalance to Dublin. ‘It presents huge opportunity for the city region and provides certainty and clarity to voters and electoral candidates before this year’s local elections. Staff at Cork City Council have been working with, and will continue to work with, our colleagues in Cork County Council to ensure a smooth and efficient transition of services from the county to the city and we look forward to engaging fully with the citizens, communities and many organisations in the newly extended area,’ she said.
On Thursday afternoon, Cork County Council issued the folllowing statement: 'Cork County Council notes that the legislation underpinning the proposed Cork City boundary alteration was passed by the Oireachtas last evening. The Council welcomes the passing of the legislation and is currently assessing it in the context of desired amendments which the County had put forward to members of the Oireachtas for consideration.
'Both Councils have devoted considerable time and effort into planning and organising the transition of services from County to City over the past 12 months. This work continues apace with both Councils working on the basis that a majority of services will transfer from late May 2019/early June 2019.'