Report on council reform

THE Local Electoral and Boundary Reform Committee report published last week did not have any surprises for Louth.

THE Local Electoral and Boundary Reform Committee report published last week did not have any surprises for Louth.

Dundalk Town Council will be abolished and the new local authority will have 29 public representatives.

In Dundalk the existing Dundalk South, Dundalk North and Cooley electoral areas will form the Dundalk Municipal District with 13 seats.

Ardee Town Council will also be abolished and a wider mid-Louth area will have six seats on the new authority. Drogheda borough goes and the area will have 10 representatives.

For Dundalk this is the end of an era and not necessarily a good one.

The 12 members of the town council have for well over a century represented the people of Dundalk.

When you look at the roll call there are indeed some very famous names, people who gave a great deal of their lives to the town and its people.

In some cases generations dedicated themselves to public life.

There can never be the same representation.

Councillors will not simply be able to deal with the same number of issues.

It is also going to put a greater strain on local authority staff.

It may save money. But it will hardly improve local democracy.

Louth has too big a population and Dundalk too large an urban area for this kind of cutback in local democracy.