Former Mayor Of Waterford Cllr. John Cummins who led the delegation and preparation of Waterford City and County Council’s submission to the independent boundary commission has called on the government and Fianna Fail as the supporting partner to implement the recommendations as a matter of urgency.
In a surprise move on Wednesday evening, the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government published the commission’s report on their website. The recommendations of the three strong commission are to implement “a new Boundary between the Authorities that will move the entire Electoral Area of Kilculliheen and those parts of the Electoral Areas of Aglish and Dunkitt contained within the Area of Interest that lie south of the N25 bypass to the control of Waterford Council”.
Cllr. Cummins said “I welcome the positive recommendation of the commission which will allow Waterford City to expand into its natural hinterland north of the River Suir. While some may be disappointed that the port at Belview and the rest of the area of interest is not part of the recommended boundary extension, I don’t view it that way - in fact in our last presentation to the commission I suggested that the main opposition to the Boundary Extension should be implemented as a matter of urgency – Cllr. Cummins proposed extension was coming from the Slieverue area and it should be excluded from any proposed extension and I welcome the fact that the commission has done this”.
In their recommendations, the commission referred to the existing boundary as “impractical” and Cllr. Cummins said he agrees with this characterisation “Using historic boundaries in modern day Ireland is not appropriate, cities in particular must be allowed to expand into what is their natural hinterland and for too long Waterford has been like a bird with one wing with only south side development in evidence.
The reality is Waterford City has to expand Northwards in the decade ahead as South side development land is limited and it is only natural therefore that this area is administered by Waterford City and County Council”.
As Mayor in 2015/2016, Cllr. Cummins worked closely with CEO Michael Walsh and Director of Services Ivan Grimes to prepare Waterford City and County Council’s submission and he put his thanks on record to his fellow councillors who were part of the presentation team. “I want to thank Cllr’s. O’Sullivan, Quinlan, Mulligan, Griffin and Roche who assisted with the presentation and acknowledge the role former Minister Coffey played in commissioning the report.”
Cllr. Cummins concluded by saying “This has the potential, along with the Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework which is focusing on the growth of regional cities to be game changer for Waterford and the entire south east region. I call on the government and Fianna Fail in particular, as the supporting party to the government, to implement the recommendations as a matter of urgency. I don’t believe it is credible for the government to stand over an independent report into cardiac services at UHW and not implement and independent report into the boundary issue”. Cllr Eddie Mulligan Cllr Eddie Mulligan commented on the release of the Report of the Waterford Boundary Review Committee saying “I am disappointed to see, hear and read about nationally elected representatives making all kinds of spurious allegations.
In particular, scare mongering in the aftermath of the publication of the Report of the Waterford Boundary Review Committee, to the Minister. It would be wrong of me to allow myself to be reduced to such an unprofessional level of popular public political posturing. As an elected representative of Waterford, I was privileged to represent Waterford Council, during several interactions and presentations to this Committee.
It was an extremely professional and fair process, with every representations being made, supported by factual evidence. I have no doubt that the recommendations, of the Review Committee, incorporate the best possible future administrational plans, which will ensure the fairest social, community and economic infrastructure for the people living and working in the immediate environs.
“At no time in the process, has the deep rooted culture of South Kilkenny ever been questioned, doubted or disputed. The history of Waterford and South Kilkenny are so closely entwined. We as politicians must plan for an improved, better future for the people of this area. It should be noted that contrary to the many outbursts, in relation to the sporting links, between clubs in South Kilkenny and Waterford, in GAA and soccer. These bonds already exist and are, in reality, quite strong and prove that sporting and cultural borders are not barriers, but non-binding transient flexible indicators. This is by no means a “Land grab”, as falsely championed by so many, by Waterford Council. This is ALL about proper and structured future proof planning, development and investment to the area.
Ensuring the people of Ferrybank and South Kilkenny, have the best quality of life possible.”