Cork City Council decided last night to seek a judicial review of “the administrative actions” of the Cork Local Government Review Group which has recommended a merger of Cork city and county councils.
This is also expected to be the first challenge to the constitutionality of government policy in relation to combining local authority areas.
Tonight’s council meeting was addressed by former Cork Local Government Review (CLGR) member Dr Theresa Reidy, following which it was agreed to mount the legal challenge.
She co-authored a “minority report” with fellow group member, Prof Dermot Keogh, opposing the merger recommendation which was presented to Environment Minister Alan Kelly last week.
Dr Reidy told councillors that it was clear from the review process that cities are engines of regional growth and “must have independent autonomous governance to drive economic development”.
A merged council would take decision making one step further from citizens, she said, although she did not elaborate on how this would be the case.
Business groups are divided over the proposal, with Cork Chamber of Commerce and Cork Business Association members taking opposing stands on the report.