Thursday, 13 December 2018
Local Government Bill 2018: Report and Final Stages
I am just making reference to what Deputy Fitzpatrick said in respect of the Louth-Meath senior championship final. All of that said, to suggest that a very small number of councillors from Drogheda - probably no more than four - along with a similar number from County Meath would decide the local area plan for Drogheda without reference to other members elected to represent Drogheda is undemocratic. The local area plan would then take precedence over the county development plan, which would be forced to follow the local area plan. I cannot see any role in that proposal for the rest of the Drogheda councillors, the other members of Louth County Council, or the executive, including professional planning staff. The recent boundary commission set up by the Minister of State's predecessor made a number of recommendations in respect of Drogheda including that the two local authorities in Louth and Meath should come together to jointly make a plan for the greater Drogheda area. This work is already under way. A review of the existing joint framework plan for the greater Drogheda area was carried out some years ago. I want to put those points on record and to remind the Minister of State of the old Irish phrase "Ní neart go cur le chéile". Supporting a cohesive approach to Drogheda's development is very important, but the method which is proposed is not fit for purpose. I am certainly in favour of any amendment to delete it.