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Sunday, 22nd November 2020

Councils kicking the can down the road on joint administration for Drogheda

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The iconic Boyne Viaduct a symbol of Drogheda's importance as an industry and transport hub. Photo: Andy Spearman.

City Status Group writes to Councillors in Louth and East Meath seeking action

The Drogheda City Status group has accused both Louth and Meath County Councils of “kicking the can down the road” on the issue of a joint approach to the administration of local government for Drogheda which is split between the two Councils.

This weekend the group circulated a document to all Drogheda and East Meath Councillors, appealing for them to take a leadership stance in taking a strong position for the Greater Drogheda Region in the  County Development Plans and the review of the National Development Plan.

“This is a critical time in determining the future prosperity of the greater Drogheda region” said DCSG Chairperson Anna McKenna.

“Do we want to remain effectively as two commuter towns or become one self-sustainable green city that has its own administration for the local region?, she asks.

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DCSG says that the current impasse is preventing Drogheda from becoming a major centre for overseas investment that up to now, the IDA and successive Governments have denied us which has led to huge numbers of people enduring long daily commutes to work or study, while others have suffered through crime and deprivation.

“Nothing has been done to date to break the impasse that sees future planning of the greater Drogheda region continuing to be determined in a fragmented manner by Local Government officials in Dundalk and Navan” they point out.

“Drogheda needs to have a senior manager at the rank of Assistant County CEO or Assistant City Manager leading a local team (including a new joint SPC) dedicated to start planning in an orderly fashion for the future City of Drogheda,” Anna McKenna said.

The Drogheda City Status Group is urging all public representatives in the Greater Drogheda Region to demonstrate leadership and vision at this critical time.

She also called on all business and community groups as well as individuals and households to engage in this process and can be contacted at droghedacitynow@gmail.com.

In their letter to the councillors the DCSG points out that while there has been much talk about the two authorities working together there has been less by way of action on the ground.

They say that Louth County Council has cited Covid-19 as a reason for not organising a joint meeting of councillors but point out they had no difficulty organising other meetings remotely using Zoom or other systems.

They say that there are issues in both counties that need urgent attention but there seems to be no interest in taking a holistic approach to planning the future of the Greater Drogheda area.

"Our overall concern is that – as Greater Drogheda continues to grow at an exceptional rate – major issues remain unaddressed – and at a critical time when key plans are being updated in each county".

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