Thursday, 13 December 2018
Local Government Bill 2018: Report and Final Stages
I move amendment No. 8:
In page 17, between lines 9 and 10, to insert the following:“(c) the arrangements that should be made by the Cork local authorities for subsequent reviews of the Cork boundary alteration taking account of development and proposed development in the administrative area of the county council;”.
I hope this amendment provides room for a slightly wider debate on the whole issue of how we manage this new boundary treatment for Cork city and county. I am nervous because Cork Deputies would, obviously, have a much better knowledge of the issue than I would. However, I have sufficient knowledge of the city to see what has gone wrong in Cork. It is probably one of the worst examples of depopulation of a city centre with the sprawl ever outwards, the ever lengthening commute times and under-population in the city. It also has this very dysfunctional boundary that has existed between the county and the city where the county placed development without consideration of the impact on the city. As happened in Dublin and elsewhere, both jurisdictions were competing for rates space. That needs to stop and it needs to change. Cork is grinding to a halt, as are all our cities, with gridlock. It needs to start concentrating development again for social, environmental and economic reasons. This amendment would seek that in any review mechanism of the boundaries and the issue of what type of development is taking place would be looked at, and that a check would be put, in particular on the county, on using the new arrangements to continue the old ways of doing things where they were really ignoring the need for a strategic balance in how the city develops versus the county and vice versa. The amendment sets out the specific clause that consideration of what is happening in area development, especially by the county, is a key issue in the consideration of boundaries to try to put a check on that potential for continued, atrocious and unsustainable planning in the Cork city and county areas. I hope the Minister of State will accept the amendment.