Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A GROUP set up to review the proposed merger of Cork city and county councils is due to make its recommendations by the end of February.

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney confirmed the process has been slightly delayed, but those recommendations and a final report can be expected in the coming weeks.

The existing city boundary.

“One of the members of the review group has had some personal issues over Christmas that they had to deal with in terms of family, so we’re just giving them a bit of extra time… they aren’t quite ready to report yet,” explained the Minister.

“I expect it will probably be towards the end of February at this stage that they’ll have recommendations, and we’ll move to have a full report maybe the month after that.”

Members of the new review group were appointed in October to re-examine the findings of a 2015 report that recommended a full merging of Cork City Council and Cork County Council.

The 2015 Smiddy Report called for both councils to be dissolved and replaced by a new super council responsible for both the city and the county.

The finding proved extremely controversial, prompting Minister Coveney to set up a new review group to examine the issue.

Lord Mayor of Cork Councillor Des Cahill has been vocal about the mergerpossibility and is distinctly against it.

He previously claimed funding for the city would suffer should the merger go ahead, and called instead for the extension of the city boundary to include areas such as Ballincollig, Glanmire and Carrigaline.

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