The Government is considering the inclusion of the Town of Carrick on Shannon in a new law to ensure there is cooperation between local authorities where a town straddles county boundaries, according to local TD Denis Naughten.
“The objective behind the cooperation across the River Shannon is to ensure the coordinated development of Carrick-on-Shannon as a key economic driver of investment in the region. This will build on the recent law I secured approval for in Government, and which was passed by Dáil Éireann, which sets in stone the County boundary of Roscommon ensuring that Cortober remains a part of County Roscommon,” stated Denis Naughten.
“While no-one was seeking to include Cortober in County Leitrim there was a draft proposal from the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government to review the status of Cortober and a number of other areas close to existing towns across Ireland.
“The new law sets out that the county boundary of Roscommon cannot be changed but it is also important that both Leitrim and Roscommon work closely together to ensure the town of Carrick-on-Shannon is developed in a structured manner not only to benefit the local community but to build up the rural areas also.
“In the Dáil this week the Minister for Local Government, John Paul Phelan TD, confirmed that Government is now bringing forward proposals to make a new law on local authority cross boundary cooperation and is considering including Carrick-on-Shannon in the proposal.
“In the case of Carrick-on-Shannon, if included in the new law, it would mean that a new Urban Area Committee would be established with membership from the councillors from the Carrick-on-Shannon Municipal District of Leitrim and the Boyle Municipal District of Roscommon as well as the Cathaoirleach of both Roscommon & Leitrim County Councils.”
For Oral Answer on : 09/04/2019
Question Number(s): 75 Question Reference(s): 15729/19
Department: Housing, Planning and Local Government
Asked by: Denis Naughten T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government when new legislation to establish cross boundary committees will be published in view of the commitment given by the Minister of State to Dáil Éireann on 13 December 2018 during the report stage of the Local Government Act 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Following on from enactment of the Local Government Act 2019, and as indicated during its passage through the Oireachtas, it is my intention, in the coming months, to publish legislation to place local authority cross boundary cooperation on a statutory basis.
What is envisaged is the establishment of Urban Area Committees for urban areas with a population between 1,500 and 100,000, where the results of a population census show that at least 1,500 persons or 10% of the population are living in the administrative area of another local authority. This would include Athlone, Bray, Carlow, Carrick-on-Shannon, Drogheda, Limerick, Portarlington and Waterford. The functions of UACs will be set out in the legislation in due course but, at this stage, I consider that the UACs could perform strategic and economic planning functions for the areas concerned.
Membership of each committee would be drawn from both local authorities and consist of councillors from the relevant local electoral areas as well as the Cathaoirleach of each of the local authorities. Provision for participation in a non-voting capacity for experts in the areas of planning, transport, infrastructure, housing and/or business could also be included.
I have recently met with a number of local authorities to discuss the proposals and I will engage in further consultation prior to finalizing and publishing the legislation.