AROUND 35 concerned and affected residents and businesspeople from all over Clonakilty attended last Thursdays public meeting at O’Donovan’s Hotel, on the topic of reckless driving on the streets and roads of Clonakilty and surrounding areas.
However, there was huge disappointment and frustration, bordering on anger from some at the meeting that no representative from An Gárda Síochána was present to address peoples concerns.
ANOTHER fatal accident on the main N20 road between Cork and Limerick this month has once again focussed attention on the safety of the main route between our second and third largest cities.
Plans have been drawn up by the National Roads Authority (NRA) to replace the N20 with a new M20 motorway linking the two cities, but in May the project was put on hold due to a lack of funding.
THE Mayors of Cork City and County have rejected a proposal from The Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes (An Bord Snip Nua) that the two local authorities should merge as part of a €5.2 million cost cutting exercise across the public service.
Speaking to Corkpolitics.ie, Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Dara Murphy said, “There is absolutely no proposal, as usual with this government. They are just throwing hand grenades all around the country”.
His county counterpart, Cllr Derry Canty said, “Proposals to merge the city and county councils is off the wall stuff. The logistics involved in merging the two councils would be huge. more »
CORK County Mayor Derry Canty has admitted that maintaining urban district and town councils across the county may no longer be viable in the face of mounting cuts to local government spending.
The Fine Gael councillor told the Evening Echo that he believed the threat of merging Cork City and County councils in An Bord Snip Nua’s report could be used to make councillors more accepting of phasing out town councils and urban district councils.
“Proposals to merge the city and county councils is off the wall stuff,” said Cllr Canty.
“The logistics involved in merging the two councils would be huge. Currently the County Council is so big we have to divide it into three areas; are they seriously proposing we add the city to that mix as well?”
Cllr Canty also said that the proposed merged authority would be too varied to adequatley represent all of the people of Cork, “What do the needs of Castletownbere or Ballycotton have in common with people in the city? How many councillors would the authority have?”
On the subject closing the town and district councils however, Cllr Canty said, “Everything has to be looked at. In truth these councils are still depending on the County Council once their budgets run out. If cuts have to be made we will have to take it on the chin but it must be properly discussed.
“Town councillors have been elected on a five-year mandate and that should be respected”.
Cllr Canty said Local Government Minister John Gormley had gone about restructuring local government in “completely the wrong way”.
“Minister Gormely has attacked local councillors ever since he was elected. He had to know that this was coming down the tracks.”
Cllr Canty added that if serious reform was to take place making county councillors full-time also needed to be given serious consideration.
The merger of Cork City and County councils is one of the money saving initiatives being proposed in the McCarthy Report published by The Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes (An Bord Snip Nua).
The merger of city and county authorities in Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway as well as mergers between Carlow and Kilkenny county councils and Sligo and Leitrim county councils are part of the wide-ranging spending cuts and efficiencies in the report which if fully implemented could save the Government in the region of €5.2 billion a year.
The report also proposes the abolition of town councils which in Cork would see the demise of councils in Skibbereen, Bantry, Clonakilty, Macroom, Mallow, Passage West, Bandon, Kinsale, Cobh, Midleton and Youghal.