City chief supports amalgamation of Galway local authorities

Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Chief Executive of Galway City Council feels the structure of the local authority needs to change in order to secure funding for urban regeneration.
At a meeting of the local authority last night (11/6), Brendan McGrath said key sites in the city need to be progressed under the National Planning Framework.
He suggested that the city and county councils should be merged to avoid doubling up on some services and in order to secure the maximum NPF funding.
The key sites mentioned by CEO, Brendan McGrath, include Ceannt Station, the developmenet of the port, Eyre Square East, the Crowne site in Mervue, a site at Headford Road and Nun’s Island.
The CEO said the private Bonham Docks development which is currently going through the planning process is very important for inward investment and sustainable living.
Housing was another significant concern raised by Brendan McGrath.
He said there is a shortfall about about 3 thousand residential units in the city with the population growing by 1 thousand per year.
Brendan McGrath says 350 new housing units need to be built each year to keep up with demand.
He also added that a masterplan for the jointly-owned Galway Airport site in Carnmore needs to be developed, after Councillor McNelis stated he heard rumours that Boeing is interested in the site.
Sinn Féin Councillor Cathal Ó Chonchúir agreed with the city chief and said the city council could not operate in isolation from the county.
Councillor Donal Lyons says he has concerns that members are being ‘kept in the dark’ regarding reasons for amalgamation or the savings it would purportedly make.
Brendan McGrath told the meeting that both the city and county councils need financial and human resources.
He said the first round of bids for National Planning Framework funding would be made in the autumn with a decision expected before the end of the year.