Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

News

Councils’ opposition to merger proposals for local authorities

Published

on

A total of 45 submissions were accepted by the committee overseeing the local government review in Galway before the deadline closed.

The review was set up by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly to “carry out an objective review of local government arrangements in Galway City and County, including the boundary of Galway City, the local government areas and the local authorities for such areas, and to make recommendations for improvements in such arrangements”.

In its lengthy submission, Galway City Council concluded there was no evidence to suggest that a merger of the two local authorities would result in a more efficient entity or any improvement to service delivery.

“Further it is considered that any amalgamation could impact negatively on the current success of the city through a diluted focus, which would negatively impact on the county and on the region,” the submission stated.

City Hall held consultation meetings with councillors and there was consensus that a case for a limited and targeted extension to the city/county boundary, specifically in the areas of Ardaun and Parkmore. The potential for further extension of the boundary to incorporate Barna or Oranmore was discussed but opinions different.

“There is merit in examining the current shared services in terms of efficacy and value for money and also in considering the business case for additional services to be delivered by either authority on behalf of both,” the City Council contended.

The submission highlights the experiences abroad, including Queensland, Australia and Canada to bolster its case.

In Queensland there was reduction in councils from 156 to 72 and a reduction of Aboriginal Councils from 32 to 14, resulting in over 700 fewer representatives. Following public disquiet and the election of a new state government, former authorities were invited to apply to de-amalgamate.  Some 19 submissions were received but only four were considered viable and these authorities were de-amalgamated upon further legislation in January 2014.

Galway County Council’s submission criticises the pretext of the review.

The Minister stated that “it is logical also to consider the option of unifying the city and county structures in Galway not least because of the potential of a stronger Galway authority to reinforce the process of economic recovery and growth, not only in Galway but in the West generally”.

“There is therefore a concern that these statements reflect a predetermined preferred solution. It is generally accepted that the issues which pertained in Waterford, Limerick and Cork are not replicated in Galway and therefore the question must be asked as to what problem this review is seeking to solve,” the County Council submission remarked.

“It would appear that there is no evidence of unhelpful competition, policy fragmentation or a lack of coherence between the two remaining local authorities in Galway and therefore it is not clear what problem any merger would solve but it would appear that there are real risks of creating other problems if this option were to be pursued.”

It pointed to the dissolution of three town Councils in Ballinasloe, Loughrea and Tuam and the setting up of five municipal districts over a short period of time. This had left no opportunity for the changes to be fully implemented and their success or otherwise analysed prior to a substantial review of local government in Galway City and County.

“This is in the context of a recent suggestion that the abolition of Town Councils was a mistake.”

However not all submissions were negative.

The Galway Chamber of Commerce voiced its support for an amalgamation, claiming it would be an unprecedented opportunity to “give rise to a unique and powerful engine of growth and prosperity for a new Galway”, headed by an elected mayor who would serve a five-year term.

NUI Galway said it would be in favour of a merger, arguing it “would be useful but not essential to deal with one authority in respect of the totality of our developments on the main campus and at outreaches centres elsewhere in the county”.

It also pointed to the N6 bypass project – which impacted on its campus – as a reason for a complete overhaul.

“A single authority for Galway, coupled with a strong Regional Authority for the west could have produced a less divisive process and perhaps a more acceptable outcome.”

The committee chaired by Professor Eoin O’Sullivan, head of the school of social work and social policy in Trinity College Dublin, are expected to publish the outcome of their review by October.

Connacht Tribune

Development hailed as major boost in tackling local housing demand

Published

on

Artist’s impression...the proposed Claregalway housing development.

The green light has been given to a sizeable residential development in Claregalway, which was the subject both of strenuous opposition and support in the area.

An Bord Pleanála have granted planning permission for 111 houses and apartments in Claregalway following a strategic housing development application by K King Construction for the development at Lakeview, Claregalway.

Local councillor David Collins (FG) welcomed the decision saying that there was an urgent need for new housing in Claregalway given the demand.

And he also paid tribute to developer Walter King for offering land for the development of community facilities to the local area.

“We need the houses and we need the land so this decision satisfies Claregalway on both fronts,” Cllr Collins added.

The Athenry Oranmore area councillor also said that requirement that a certain number of houses be reserved for Irish speakers was also a boost to developing the language in the area – Claregalway is part of the Gaeltacht.

The higher planning authority ruled that the proposed development would constitute an acceptable residential density at this location and was also acceptable in terms of traffic and pedestrian safety.

They also said that the site could be drained satisfactorily and that surface water would not be an issue.

The site for the development measures over twelve acres in size and is located at the junction of the Lydican Road about three quarters of a mile from the village off the main Oranmore road.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Carna’s Community Café raises a cuppa – and funds – for new Ukrainian arrivals

Published

on

Carna Community Café volunteers presenting a cheque to Irish Red Cross Conamara Area Director Niall O'Meachair (third from right); pictured are (from left) Máirín Ní Churraion, Kate Mulkerrins, Siobhán Kennedy, Tom Lane and Máire Ní Domhnaill.

Carna’s new Community Cafe has donated €1,000 to the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal – thanks to the village’s love of tea, cake, and a good old chat.

The brainchild of a group of sea-swimming enthusiasts living in the area, the weekly café started just before Easter as a way to help people begin socialising again after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Looking to simply cover costs – with the café’s bakers and servers all volunteering and charging just a euro for a cup of tea or a piece of cake – the team decided any excess income would be donated to charity.

Little did they know that just five weeks later they would be passing on €1,000 to the Red Cross.

“The aim initially wasn’t to raise money at all, we just wanted to provide a friendly, welcoming and affordable place where people could come and have a chat and see each other again,” said Máirín Ní Churraoin, who runs the local Post Office.

“But it’s been proving more popular than we could have imagined, so we decided that any income generated has to go to a good cause – for this first donation we all felt the Red Cross Ukraine appeal was an obvious choice.”

The Ukraine appeal is even more fitting given the location of the Café: the dining room of the Carna Bay Hotel, which is currently providing accommodation to people who have fled the conflict.

“We’re delighted to be able to support this fantastic initiative, it’s just brilliant to see people coming out and socialising over a bit of cake again,” said Karl Rogers from the Carna Bay Hotel.

“And with the tea, musicians and chat, it’s a great way for our guests from Ukraine to meet local people and experience Irish culture first-hand.”

At the most recent event on Saturday May 7th, Irish Red Cross Conamara Area Director, Niall O’Meachair was on hand to collect a cheque for €1,000.

“We’re absolutely delighted to receive this money from the Community Café in Carna, and through the work of the Red Cross we’ll make sure it goes to helping people affected by this awful, awful conflict.”

The Community Café is held every Saturday in the Carna Bay Hotel, 10am to 12:30pm.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Old stone-carved bank sign to be retained after community lobby

Published

on

Deputy Sean Canney outside the old Bank of Ireland building at Shop Street in Tuam.

An old stone carved sign on the front of a former bank building in the heart of Tuam is to be retained, following intense representations from the local business community.

The building is currently being renovated by the Department of Social Protection which is moving into the property over the coming months

Galway East TD Sean Canney received confirmation from the Department that the red brick building on Shop Street will retain the old Bank of Ireland name.

The Bank of Ireland was originally located at Shop Street in Tuam before moving to its current location at Dublin Road several decades ago.

The building on Shop Street was then occupied by the town library, which has since moved to the local Council offices, and now it is being renovated so that it can be occupied by the Department of Social Protection.

During the renovations of the old library building on Shop Street to make way for the new Intreo Centre, which brings together various social welfare services, the old stone carved sign was revealed.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending