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No change to Waterford/Kilkenny boundary, Minister confirms

No change to Waterford/Kilkenny boundary, Minister confirms

Simon Coveney has issued a statement on the recommendations of the Waterford Boundary Committee.

In the statement, he said he wanted to make clear that he won't "be implementing the recommendation to change the county boundaries. The county boundaries will remain as they are".

Speaking to Beat News the Minister explained his decision.

"We have decided to separate the two issues here. One is identity in terms of where people come from. Secondly then is local governance structures."

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"What I want to do is to make sure that Waterford as a city has the capacity to grow in a very ambitious way over the next ten to twenty years, and make that growth managed in a coordinated way, so that we don't have two different local authorities doing their own thing on different sides of the river."

"At the same time, I do recognise that there has been a very strong reaction in terms of the suggestion to change the county boundary because that undermines essentially where people are from, from a historical point of view."

"And so, Kilkenny people will continue to be Kilkenny people and Waterford people will be Waterford people."

"There is not going to be any change, but what I would like to signal very strongly is that I am going to look at a statutory management change in terms of local governance."

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"This is so that when there is a development plan for a growing city in Waterford, that we have a governance structure that does that in a coordinated way so that the city develops under a single plan, rather than two separate plans."

"The details of that aren't decided yet. We'll hopefully get that done within the next few months."

"I'll also be interacting with both councils Β and both chief executives to make sure that we get that new structure right."

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