Galway Bay fm newsroom – There’s been fresh – and fierce – debate in the Dáil over the proposed merger of Galway City and County Council.
The planned amalgamation has been on the cards for several years but has attracted strong opposition from most of Galway’s public representatives.
A Government commissioned expert advisory group has produced a number of reports, all of which have recommended the union.
The Dáil has now been debating the second stage of the ‘Local Government Bill 2018′ – which is primarily focused on Co. Cork.
However, it contains a paragraph which proposes to provide a single CEO with responsibility for both councils to facilitate amalgamation.
It’s understood the Fianna Fail party will table an amendment to remove the provision from the bill – which will be supported by a number of Galway TDs.
Deputy Eamon O’ Cuiv said it was a devious attempt to introduce radical change by stealth.
While Galway West Deputy Noel Grealish says funding issues with both local authorities should be a priorty, rather than touting possible mergers.
Galway West Deputy Catherine Connolly questioned the credentials of the ‘expert advisory group’ to be making such recommendations – claiming none had any experience at council level.
Meanwhile, Galway-Roscommon Deputy Eugene Murphy cited the negative impact of the abolition of Ballinasloe Town Council in his argument against a merger.
And Galway West Junior Minister Sean Kyne also raised issues of fair representation under a single authority – particularly in the Connemara region.
1,392 new cases of COVID-19 nationally
Three areas in Galway have Covid-19 incidence rate above national average
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Three areas in Galway currently have a Covid-19 incidence rate above the national average of 413 cases per 100 thousand people.
The highest figure is Galway City East at 541, followed by Connemara North at 459 and Tuam at 458.
Galway City Central is just below the national average at 401, while Galway City West now stands at 363 cases per 100 thousand.
Elsewhere, the figure for Gort Kinvara is 323, Athenry-Oranmore is 247, Connemara South is 239, Ballinasloe is 192, and Loughrea is 185.
Nationally, the Monaghan local area has the highest figure nationwide – with an incidence rate of 1,255 cases per 100 thousand people.
Approval for 345 build-to-rent apartments at Crown Square in Mervue
Galway Bay fm newsroom – An Bord Pleanála has granted approval for 345 build-to-rent apartments at Crown Square in Mervue.
The development is led by crown Square Developments Ltd and would be located at Monivea Road and Joyces Road.
The development consists of several blocks of varying heights – the tallest buildings will have ten floors and stand 30 metres above ground level at Monivea Road.
The project includes 240 two-bed units, 86 single-bed units, and 19 three-bed units.
Also in the plans is a commercial scheme which will feature retail and pharmacy units, a fitness and leisure centre, a primary care medical centre and a creche.
Access and parking arrangements for the proposed housing would be integrated with the office and hotel development authorised on the western part of the site, which’ll also have parking space for 1,200 bicycles.
An Bord Pleanála has now approved the plans with 19 conditions attached.