Tuesday 19 September 2017

Proposed changes to polling districts

A NUMBER of proposed changes to polling districts in Fingal are to go out for public consultation and include a proposal to move 160 voters currently voting in Swords, to Donabate.

Some 160 voters close to the Tesco depot in Donabate have been voting at St Colmcille's National School in Swords but if these proposed changes go through, those voters will cast their ballots at St Patrick's National School on the peninsula. Cllr Tom Kelleher (Lab) expressed some concern about the move and said it may 'seriously inconvenience' those voters.

Most of the other proposed changes caused little controversy when they were presented to a meeting of the full council but the continuation of the Torcaill area of Portmarnock being merged with parts of Malahide drew the ire of Cllr Peter Coyle who insisted that be removed from the new polling scheme.

He argued the move 'consolidated' a position that he wanted to see reversed. He said Torcaill's inclusion in Malahide polling districts skewed planning and populations figures in Portmarnock. He said the true population of the town was around 10,000 but official figures has it at around 8,000 and this was partly down to districts in Portmarnock being counted for polling purposes as being in Malahide. His council colleagues agreed to have the document go out for public consultation without reference to Torcaill's merger with districts in Malahide, like Malahide Marina.

Cllr David O'connor (NP) criticised the level of communication with voters on changes to polling districts and said there had to be 'an exhaustive public consultation process to be fair to the people'. Cllr Eithne Loftus (FG) questioned the timing of the changes because she said the Boundary Commission were currently redrawing constituency boundaries.