Coveney issues statement on the recommendations of the Waterford Boundary Committee
“The report in relation to the Kilkenny/Waterford boundary is one of four such review processes initiated by former Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly, T.D. The committees were asked to carry out a review of the boundary between the relevant local authorities and to make recommendations with respect to those boundaries and any consequential matters that they consider necessary in the interests of effective local government. The reports are advisory - I am not bound by their recommendations.
The recommendation in the Waterford/Kilkenny report to move the existing county boundaries has caused a lot of unease and concern in the area. This has been articulated directly to me by elected representatives and citizens, including through the consultation process on the National Planning Framework. The issue of identity, linked to county boundaries must be an important consideration.
I want to make clear now that I will not be implementing the recommendation to change the county boundaries. The county boundaries will remain as they are. Kilkenny will continue to be Kilkenny and Waterford will be Waterford.
Having made that decision, there is a responsibility on me now to ensure we have an appropriate statutory management structure to allow Waterford City to grow into the South Kilkenny area. Whereas I don’t intend to implement the recommendation to move the county boundaries, I do intend to ensure that new management solutions are in place to facilitate the cohesive expansion of Waterford City, which will include areas of South Kilkenny. There is an onus on both Waterford and Kilkenny Councils to be open to imaginative and new local government solutions in this regard. I will work with the Chief Executives of both authorities and councillors to that end over the coming months”.