There has been a lot of talk about the proposed changes to Cork's city boundary - and therefore the county boundary too. Many people are confused about what's involved, how these proposals came about and what it might mean for them.
The document below has been prepared by Cork County PPN (Public Participation Network) Secretariat in an effort to provide clarity around the current situation between both Cork County and City Councils.
Q: I am confused about by all the boundary coverage lately, what is the current position?
A: The Minister has appointed an Implementation Oversight Group to commence implementation of the MacKinnon Report which would see the City Council growing its area to a size two and a half times that of Dublin City and would include Ballincollig, Carrigtwohill and Glanmire, at a potential annual cost to the County Council of €40m annually. The County Council are vehemently opposed to this proposal as it would seriously affect service delivery in rural communities. The County Council themselves have proposed a much more realistic and more natural boundary alteration formally to the City Council. This would include areas such as Douglas, Rochestown etc., areas which would have a more natural affiliation with the City. This proposal would cost approx €8m and have far less of an impact on service delivery in rural communities. This proposal is currently open for public consultation and it is important that our members made submissions reflecting their views.
Q: What is the position of the County Council?
A: Cork County Council doesn't agree with the MacKinnon report and has proposed an alternative boundary line which it has formally offered to Cork City Council for consideration.
Q: What is the position of Cork City Council?
A: Cork City Council supports the Mackinnon report and wishes to see it implemented.
Q: Who will make the final decision?
A: Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government.
Q: What is the position of the Cork County PPN?
A: Cork County PPN supports the position of Cork County Council because of the considerable effects that a large scale boundary extension would have on rural communities.
Q: Who will Cork County Councils boundary alteration proposal impact on?
A: The County proposal is a far more sustainable boundary alteration, and will limit the negative impacts of the Mackinnon Report which would impact either directly or indirectly on all the citizens of Cork.
Q: Where can I view the County Councils proposal?
A: The County Councils proposal is available for viewing at all County Council offices and libraries, and also online at (www.corkcoco.ie)
Q: Can I express my views on the County Councils proposal?
A: Yes most definitely, views are both encouraged and welcomed.
Q: How can I make a submission?
A: You can express your views in one of two ways; Submissions may be made online to: www.corkcoco.ie/viewproposal-makeasubmission Or alternatively submissions may be made by post to: Office of Director of Corporate Services, Cork County Council, Floor 14, County Hall, Cork.
Q: Is there a closing date?
A: Yes, all submissions must be received by; 17th November 2017.
Q: Will My opinions be listened to?
A: Most definitely, all submissions will be considered and a report will be presented to the members of Cork County Council. Finally a report will then be sent to the Minister. It is really important that as much feedback as possible is received from the public. Each person and organisation can make a difference by making a submission expressing their views.
Q: What impact could the Mackinnon Report have for Groups inside that boundary line in a greatly expanded city area?
A: It could result in:
1. Higher Property Tax for property owners
2. Pay parking charges (including clamping) deterring customers from local businesses
3. Loss of County identity and sense of community
4. Loss of/reduced Community/Amenity/Tidy Towns Grants & supports
5. City Social Housing applicants competing with County applicants for Council housing
6. Reduced Standards in Services
7. Higher Commercial Rates could threaten the viability of businesses
Q: What are the benefits of the County Council Proposal?
A: The Proposal;
1. Avoids splitting rural communities
2. Will result in less disruption to community/County Council relationships
3. Limits the impact on services being delivered in rural communities
4. Will result in continuing access to a range of County Council Grants
5. Will result in the Leader funding programme being protected for the vast majority of communities
Q: What could the Mackinnon Report mean for Cork County PPN member groups?
A: It will impact on all community groups countywide, see below;
- The relationship between Cork County Council and its communities is central to the quality of life embedded in those communities.
- It took decades to establish and maintain those relationships; they cannot be allowed to be destroyed. The future of communities is at stake.
- Whatever new structures are put in place as a result of these boundary processes, they must sustain and build on these existing relationships.
- Mackinnon would dismantle those relationships and break the backbone of those communities and severely damage the County spirit which is so vibrant. Cities globally just don’t “do communities”; They do not have the same ethos or provide the same level of investment to nurture communities.
- A doubt would be cast over the future of the existing Community and Amenity Fund Schemes.
- The Communities within the extended City area would lose access to vital LEADER funding which represents a lifeline for the development of County, sporting and social infrastructure. The greater the area of the extension –the greater the number of groups that would lose access to such funding.
- The Town Development Fund, Heritage Grants, Arts Grants, Mayors Awards are all areas that could be lost or significantly reduced as a result of any large extension of the City.
- Municipal District initiatives and citizen supports would be impacted.
- The ability to enhance further community initiatives, or grasp further funding opportunities for those communities would be lost or at best severely restricted.
- Cork County Council has a well established successful Public Participation Network with over 900 groups. The scale and strength of the Cork County PPN would be reduced as many member groups would no longer be part of the County. It is vitally important that the success and vibrancy of this Network is maintained and developed for the betterment of all.