The establishment by Louth and Meath County Councils of an implementation group to give effect to the recommendations of the Drogheda Boundary review comes as news to me.
More significantly, it will come as news to the Minister for Local Government and his officials.
On the 28th March the Minister said on the Dail record that “an implementation group specifically targeting the Boundary Committee report is not established.”
The statement from the Councils directly contradicts the Minister.
If a body was established by the Councils to give effect to recommendations such as a local area plan and a retail strategy for the area, then why did the department not know about it?
Why is this the first time the people of Drogheda have heard of this significant development?
Why have councillors in Drogheda and the people of the area been kept in the dark?
And why is the Minister’s reply to a parliamentary question at odds with claims from the Council?
These are significant questions around lines of accountability that need to be answered.
It is concerning that it took a statement from me, based on the facts that emerged from a parliamentary question reply, to kick-start both Councils into making comprehensive statement on the status of a project that is so critical to the future of Drogheda.
I know for a fact that the Department is far from happy at the way in which cross-boundary issues here and elsewhere are being managed and progressed.
If the Department were happy with progress they wouldn’t be planning to make new laws to force Councils to work more formally together on a wide-range of cross-boundary issues and development plans.
This new legislation is expected to go through the Oireachtas in the coming months.