Speaking following a public meeting in south Kilkenny last night, Kilkenny Green Party Councillor and Spokesperson for Environment, Community and Local Government, Malcolm Noonan said that the Local Government Review of an extension to the Waterford City boundary into South Kilkenny was more to do with political expediency rather than a Government attempt to improve efficiency in service delivery in Local Government. He said also that Minister Alan Kelly and his Minister of State Paudie Coffey had acted unethically in bringing forward the proposal in the first place.
‘7,000 people who culturally, socially and physically belong to our County have the threat of a second boundary review in ten years looming. The community is mobilised to fight this tooth and nail and we are standing by them’ said Cllr Noonan who attended the packed meeting held in the Rhu Glen in Slieverue.
The review committee was set up by Minister Alan Kelly under Section 28 of the 1991 Local Government Act. Among the terms of reference of the committee is to consider demographic, socio economic factors, achieving effective and efficient local government and the delivery of good local authority services.
Cllr Noonan said that the terms of reference were at odds with Government’s ‘Putting People First’ Action Programme for Effective Local Government as the very establishment of a Boundary review committee with no obligation to include a community participation element in its work ran contrary to the principles that were supposed to underpin its local government reform programme.
‘Furthermore this Government has abjectly failed to create a tier of strong regional government that would have been recognised in Europe and have the capacity to deliver economic, social and environmental opportunities to the whole region and draw down significant EU funds for local projects’ he said.
‘The Green Party fully supports communities in South Kilkenny in their opposition to this proposal. In our view it will not serve people in Waterford City or south Kilkenny. There is much more to be gained through sharing of resources, working towards common goals such as a Technical University for the South East and the Culture 2020 bid and adopting a regional approach to the sustainable development of both counties. Unfortunately we have in Minister’s Kelly and Coffey two people who simply do not get it. If they did this proposal would never have seen the light of day’ concluded Cllr Noonan.
Note to Editors
Terms of Reference for Boundary Review Committee