THERE have been mixed reactions to the announcement of electoral boundaries for the planned new local authority system.
Labour and Leixlip Town Council chairperson, Colm Purcell, has condemned the proposal for the North kildare area. “They made a complete and absolute mess of it,” he said.
Maynooth is all over the place and putting it with Carbury is “crazy,” he claims.
The county’s Town Council’s will be abolished and Kildare County Council will have 40 members instead of the current 25 councillors.
A Naas area including Kilcullen and Ballymore Eustace will have 9 seats.
A nine seat Kildare-Newbridge area will include Robertstown.
Another nine seat area will take in the town of Maynooth but also most of the current Clane area.
The new six person Athy area will include Monastervin and Kildangan and the seven seat Celbridge-Leixlip area will take in those two towns.
Fianna Fail’s James Lawless, who will be contesting a seat in the Naas area, said that overall the report appears to have struck the right balance. He pointed out that voters in the Bodenstown townlands who previously voted in Clane will now join the rest of Sallins in the Naas area also.
But Fine Gael’s Senan Griffin did not agree. He believes separating Maynooth town from Leixlip and Celbridge is not a good idea.
“It makes sense to have areas with a lot in common,” he said. “Fine Gael would have created it somewhat differently,” said the Maynooth based councillor who is sceptical about the Council increasing to 40 members.
The Sinn Fein Bob Doyle / Dinny Barry Cumann of Kildare have welcomed the new report.
Spokesman Mark Lynch has said “We welcome the report of the new boundary changes as it consolidates the Kildare electoral area into one larger area as oppose to a more spread out area. Labour and Fine Gael have finally followed through on one of their pre-election promises of “major political reform” however can this be considered to be what it says on the tin? This “major reform” has come in the shape of local election boundary changes.”
Mr. Lynch asked if elected officials are now accountable for their actions or if power has now been taken away from unelected officials in government departments and been given to elected T.Ds and councillors.
“Unfortunately not yet and it is these things which are the real political changes we need not useless boundary changes. It appears we will have to wait another few years before we can hope for real changes in the political system. A few boundary changes here and there is in general of no interest and benefits no-one in Kildare.”
For full report on Kildare see Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee Report 2013 (pages 66-69) on www.environ.ie
- Henry Bauress