Buttimer not convinced by amalgamation of Cork Councils

Monday 21st September 2015

  • Cork Local Government Committee recommends amalgamation of Cork City and County Councils.

Cork City Coat of ArmsSince the publication of the Report of the Cork Local Government Committee I have read and considered its proposals. Regrettably there is little evidence to suggest that recommendations to amalgamate Cork City and County Councils will deliver for the people of Cork. Reform of local government should deliver an outcome that will provide a platform for Cork to become a truly eminent European destination for business and tourism.

Yes, we need to change local government in Cork but I remain to be convinced by these proposals. People and communities must be at the centre of evidence based change. The report contains a number of contradictions and lacks substantive evidence to support its recommendations.

Far from delivering one council the report seems to be creating additional administrative layers and moving decisions further away from people and communities. What is proposed is three ‘divisions’ which closely resemble councils as they are currently structured, it is as if the report envisages three individual councils, not one. Each of these will be subsidiary to the overarching ‘unitary authority’ that won’t be directly elected.

The report recognises the importance of second cities, but then it fails to provide a structure for a second city. Instead it relegates Cork to a municipal district. It cites difficulties in moving staff between councils as a reason for amalgamation. Yet it fails to address the hurdles in merging two large organisations. It recognises the importance of local government in supporting communities yet it proposes to move local government in Cork further away from communities.

We should be confident of successful outcomes before proceeding with reforms. While the report puts forward an outline plan it lacks detail and specifics. Given these shortcomings and that the Committee making the recommendation split as close to 50/50 as is possible, the only definitive outcome is that a lot more work is needed before any change is implemented.

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Environment, National Work

New wastewater plant in Shanbally to benefit communities in Cork’s Lower Harbour – Buttimer

Tuesday, 8th September 2015

  • New wastewater treatment plant at Shanbally in Co. Cork
  • Part of €91m investment in Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project
  • 50 jobs being created during the construction phase

150908 Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Programme - John Paul O Shea Sean Sherlock Alan Kelly Jerry ButtimerThe sod has been turned on a new wastewater treatment plant at Shanbally that will benefit communities around the Lower Harbour. It is great news for people living in the area and for all who enjoy the wonderful natural resource that is Cork Harbour. As a result of this investment there will be both health and environmental benefits.

For years areas such as Carrigaline, Crosshaven, Passage West/Monkstown, Shanbally and Ringaskiddy have developed without proper infrastructure for the families living in the region. It is shocking to think that in this day and age we don’t have the infrastructure to deal with wastewater.

Delivering a wastewater treatment and major initiative like Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project are exactly why we need a water utility that can manage and develop water services. Old models failed to deliver for communities and only functioned because the problems were pumped out to sea. This investment will make sure that new pipes, pumping stations and a treatment plant can meet the needs of the population of the lower harbour and protect the environment, as well as facilitating economic development.

This is part of the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project and includes an overall investment of €91 million. The project will create approximately 50 jobs during the construction phase. When completed it will put an end to the unacceptable discharge of untreated sewage into the harbour.

Posted under Carrigaline, Cork, Development, Environment

Parliamentary Question: Tenant Purchase Scheme Administration

Question to the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government (Mr. Alan Kelly, TD)

To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government when he will introduce regulations to provide for a new tenant purchase scheme; when a new scheme will become operative; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer

For WRITTEN ANSWER on 10, June, 2015.


Part 3 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 provides for a new scheme for the tenant purchase of existing local authority houses along incremental purchase lines. The Government’s Social Housing Strategy 2020includes a commitment to make the Regulations necessary for its introduction, in the second quarter of 2015, which will set out the full details of the new scheme. It is expected that the new scheme will commence at the earliest possible date following the making of the Regulations which are at an advanced stage of drafting.

Posted under Environment, Parliamentary Questions, Social, Social Protection

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