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D-day for councillors as 650 face axe in boundary revamp

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Phil Hogan

Phil Hogan

Phil Hogan

Councillors will finally be put out of their misery today when revised boundaries for next year's local elections are revealed.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan is to publish the report of the boundary commission that was set up to redraw local electoral areas on foot of reforms that he introduced.

The number of county councillors is to be increased, particularly along the east coast, but town councils are being abolished.

The result will be larger numbers of councillors in each local electoral area and they will take over the responsibilities of town councils.

The changes mean a cut in the overall number of councillors from 1,600 to 950, mainly as a result of the town councils being scrapped.

This will be achieved through the abolition of all 744 town councillors, while the number of city and county councillors will be increased from 883 to a maximum of 950.

The bulk of this increase will be in Dublin and the commuter belt around the capital, where the population has grown.

Some councils will also be merged, such as in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford.

The big winners in the new allocation of councillors are expected to be Fingal, Dun Laoghaire, South Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wexford. There will also probably be increases in Wicklow, Kerry, Galway County and Donegal.

The biggest losers in the new allocation are likely to be Laois, Longford, Clare, Tipperary, Waterford, Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo, Cavan and Monaghan.

There are also expected to be smaller decreases in the number of councillors in Kilkenny, Westmeath, Limerick and Mayo.

There will probably be little or no change in Louth and Galway city.

Different arrangements will be in place for the cities. If the same ratio of councillors to people was to be applied to the capital, Dublin City Council would double its number of councillors from the current 52 to 108.

Irish Independent