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Proposed Limerick City Boundary Alteration
Current information regarding Proposed Limerick City Boundary Alteration Limerick North Rural Electoral Division
In September 2007, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government announced the establishment of a Boundary Committee to examine an extension of Limerick City Council’s boundary, to give effect to the report on “Addressing Issues of Social Exclusion in Moyross and Other Disadvantaged Areas of the City” prepared by Mr. John Fitzgerald and adopted by the Government in April 2007.This report recommended inter alia a limited extension of Limerick City Council’s boundary in the northern part of the City to facilitate intensive development and regeneration.
The Committee is established under Part V of the Local Government Act 1991 and its remit is to review the boundary alteration recommended by Mr. John Fitzgerald, to consult locally and to report to the Minister. The Committee is chaired by Mr. Seamus Dooley, former Wexford County Manager, with the other members being Mr. Donal Connolly, former Waterford County Manager and Mr. Eoin Corrigan of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.The Committee invited submissions by public notice in the local media and indicated a deadline of 19th November 2007.The Committee also wrote to Limerick City Council inviting a submission.Defining the Proposed Boundary Extension Area
Limerick North Rural Electoral District comprises the townlands of:
Clonmacken, Caherdavin, Knock, Shanabooley, Ballygrennan, Clonconane, Clondrinagh, Coonagh East and Coonagh West.The area forms the northern environs of Limerick City and is the subject of the Caherdavin Local Area Plan, adopted in July 2005.
It is bisected by the Ennis Road / R445 Northern Ring Road and the Cratloe Road. The area is bounded to the south by the River Shannon, to the west by the Meelick Creek, to the north by the railway with no clear boundary on the city side.
There is an area of 1020 hectares involved, which represents less than 0.5% of the area of the County.The extension proposed would increase the area of the City by approximately 50%.Franchise
Limerick North Rural Electoral District forms part of the Bruff Electoral Area and the Constituency of East Limerick. The Register of Electors indicates a total of 5050 voters in the Limerick North Rural ED and the Census 2006 indicates a population of 7,251.
The current ratio of population per elected member in Limerick Cityis 3090:1.The inclusion of Limerick North Rural ED would increase this ratio to 3,517:1. It is not envisaged that the Boundary alteration will change the overall Membership of Limerick City Council.
The Minister will decide, by Ministerial Order, the date on which the Boundary Alteration will take effect and this is referred to as the Operative Date. It is expected that this date will be 1 March 2008.Impact
(a) The principal impact of the recommended extension would be the inclusion of over 7,000 people, who currently live within the boundary of Limerick County Council, within Limerick City Council’s boundary.There is already a significant level of service integration in the area between Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council, e.g. in areas such as Water and Wastewater Services and the Fire Service and it is considered that residents of the area would experience no material immediate change in service.
(b) Organisational Issues
Following discussions between officials of both authorities over the past number of weeks, I summarise, under each Programme Group, the following organisational issues, which will take effect from the operative date:-
Limerick City Council will be the Housing Authority for the area and will assume responsibility for three rented houses, shared-ownership housing loans, RAS and the management of the 14 Bay Halting Site at Lansdowne Bridge.
Limerick City Council will be the Roads Authority for the area.Included among the road functions to be transferred are National Primary, Regional and Local Roads, the School Warden Service (including three existing wardens), Public Lighting, Road Planning and Parking Bye-Laws.
Limerick City Council will be the Water Services Authority for the area.All the existing water services for the area will transfer to the City Council and be administered by the City Council. To allow for transfer of data and set up of customers Limerick County Council will bill and collect for water services up to 30 June 2008 and Limerick City Council will bill for the area in late 2008 or early 2009 for the period to 31 December 2008.
Limerick City Council will assume responsibility as the Planning Authority for the area.Transitional arrangements will be put in place for applications on hand in the County Council’s area before the operative date, including outstanding planning applications and enforcement issues.The current Caherdavin Local Area Plan will continue to have effect until a new Plan is made.All Development Levies due to the County Council for developments commenced at the operative date will fall to be paid to Limerick County Council.Development Levies on permissions where work is not commenced by the operative date will be the responsibility of Limerick City Council.
The main services in this Programme are Waste, Street Cleaning and Fire Services (including building control & fire certificates) and Limerick City Council will assume responsibility for the delivery of these.
Recreation & Amenity; Agriculture, Education, Health & Welfare, Miscellaneous
The responsibilities of the County Council under these three Programme Groups will transfer to Limerick City Council.Among the services affected are the Library Service, Parks & Open Spaces, Higher Education Grants, Register of Electors and Control of Dogs.
Limerick County Council will bill and collect rates for the area for 2008. A financial adjustment will be agreed between Limerick City and County Councils for the period from the operative date to 31 December 2008. The responsibility for collection of rates that are outstanding at 31 December 2008 is the subject of further negotiation.
Limerick City Council will be responsible for all revisions and submissions of new properties for valuation from 1 March 2008. Limerick City Council will be responsible for the billing and collection of property entry level levy from 1 March 2008.
Income and Expenditure Account
Following a detailed examination of the impact of the proposed extension on the Income and Expenditure Account of the changes outlined above, the financial impact for the next number of years has been calculated. The main items of financial impact for Limerick County Council are loss of rates on the income side and a reduction in the cost of service delivery on the expenditure side, throughout all the Programmes.Following consultation with Limerick County Council, it is agreed that a net contribution of €200,000 should be made on an annual basis by Limerick City Council to Limerick County Council, for a period of six years, giving a total of €1.2m by way of compensation. The financial impact on Limerick City Council is expected to be cost neutral in 2008. If the Minister proceeds with the extension the financial impact for 2008 Budget will be dealt with in the order or in an agreement between Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council.
It has also been agreed that all non-operational assets, including land and buildings, owned by the County Council in the area will remain in the ownership of the County Council.
Any outstanding issues regarding Court Cases or other such issues will be dealt with by the County Council where these matters have been initiated before the operative date.Transitional arrangements will also be made regarding limitation on rates in the added area, to phase in adjustments between the county rate and the city rate.
All of these matters will be given a statutory basis by way of Ministerial Order if the Minister proceeds with the proposed boundary extension.
The proposed Limerick City Boundary Alteration outlined above arises from a major Government Regeneration Initiative for the Moyross Area of Limerick City.Limerick City Council has consistently indicated its support for such a programme, which includes not only the Local Government Sector but also other Public Sectors, including Justice, Education, Enterprise and Employment and Social Welfare.The extension is seen as an initiative that will co-ordinate services in the area under one Authority and enable a Government Sponsored Programme to be expedited as a result of having effective Local Government structures.
The limited extension proposed has received the support and approval of Limerick City and County Councils in the interests of effective and convenient Local Government.
30 January 2008