Submissions to Boundary Commission call for 4 smaller electoral areas in Sligo

There are calls for four smaller local electoral areas to be returned to county Sligo.

The calls are evident from a number of submissions made to the Boundary Committee ahead of changes due to be published in June.

Local representatives and groups have made their submissions on plans to change the local electoral boundaries.

The boundaries are currently up for review again in light of the population changes in last year’s census.

The biggest changes sought are in county Sligo where a number of submissions are calling for 4 smaller electoral areas.

There are currently just two district with 10 elected members in the Sligo Municipal District which includes the urban area of Sligo, Strandhill, North Sligo and right back down to Ballisodare and Collooney.

While the rest of the county is covered by eight elected members under the Ballymote Tubbercurry Municipal District area as it is called but even the name is hugely misleading as this district includes the vast area of west Sligo over to Enniscrone and Easkey and east Sligo over as far as Geevagh and down to Monasteraden.

Blaine Gaffney, a local Fine Gael area representative in Sligo is one of those who have made a submission calling for four smaller LEAs.

He says that the current two electoral areas are too big:

Donegal County Council is one of those that have made a submission on the Donegal local electoral areas.

There is mainly a call for the urban areas of Letterkenny and the urban area around Buncrana to be once again recognised in any changes.

In Leitim, a number of submissions have been made from people in the Drumshanbo area.

Drumshanbo residents want the parish to be reunited ideally with Drumshanbo joined back in with Leitrim village in the Carrick-on-Shannon local electoral area.

The terms of reference as outlined recently by the Minister for Local Electoral Reform John Paul Phelan state that where possible local electoral areas should be designed around urban centres.

This move towards recognising urban centres has been welcomed in recent weeks.

Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin has criticised his own party under then Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan for abolishing the Town and Borough Councils in the first place.

They were abolished in 2013 but Deputy McLoughlin says he now welcomes the move by Minister Phelan to recognise the importance of urban centres once again and hopefully to reintroduce Town Councils like Ballyshannon and Bundoran and the old Sligo Borough Council:

The changes are expected to be published by the Boundary Commission by this summer most likely in June or July.