Thursday, 24 January 2019

Ceisteanna (308, 309)

James Browne

Ceist:

308. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of occasions he departed from the recommendations of the local electoral boundary committee in making local electoral boundary statutory instruments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3684/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

James Browne

Ceist:

309. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason for each individual occasion he departed from the recommendations of the local electoral boundary committee in making local electoral boundary statutory instruments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3685/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 308 and 309 together.

I established two independent Local Electoral Area Boundary Committees (No. 1 and No. 2) in December 2017 to review and make recommendations on local electoral areas (LEAs) having regard to, among other things, the results of Census 2016 as well as the commitment to consider reducing the size of territorially large local electoral areas and ensuring adequate levels of representation for towns and urban areas.

The committees were not specifically tasked with defining municipal districts (MDs), save where it was considered necessary, as it was intended that MDs would largely remain unchanged.

The recommendations in the local electoral area boundary committee reports (No.’s 1 and 2) in respect of LEAs were accepted in full. The overall policy objectives have, in the main, been met, particularly in relation to the creation of distinct town-based or urban electoral areas for large urban areas with populations in excess of 15,000.

I have accepted the recommendations of the report in relation to municipal district configuration which are in line with overall policy objectives, with four exceptions in counties Tipperary, Sligo, Wexford and Kerry, where the desired policy objective of an urban focus was not fully realised in the Committee's proposal and, in the case of Wexford, to better reflect coastal alignment of local electoral areas.