Shelved until after election.
Minister Alan Kelly has shelved the review of the county boundary between Roscommon and Westmeath in Athlone until after the forthcoming general election.
He’s extended the date for submissions until the 31st of March, after the upcoming election. Minister Alan Kelly previously said that bringing all of a town or municipal district within a single local authority area would help resolve problems such as competitive policies and practices between authorities in relation to planning, rates and charges, which can negatively impact on town centres.
The issue of changes in rates could have a serious impact on the coffers of Roscommon County Council if the Monksland and surrounding areas were to be brought under the Westmeath local authority instead.
Any proposed changes would also have a huge impact on local representatives in south Roscommon in particular, who could find themselves representing an area which could be under the jurisdiction of Westmeath County Council.
Local Independent Deputy Denis Naughton is welcoming the decision by the Minister to shelve the boundary review until after the election.
He says it’ll be a relief to many people in Monksland who are proud of the fact that they’re in County Roscommon, but notes the biggest beneficiary is the town of Athlone, which will continue to have two local authorities promoting investment in the area and the communities it serves.
However Deputy Naughton fears the plan could be resurrected after the election, so he believes its imperative people remain vigilant to it.