THE OUTGOING Chairman of the Westport Electoral Area, Cllr Peter Flynn said his year at the helm of the committee had been largely a successful one, save for the ongoing electoral area division of Newport.
“The last year has been so successful for Westport, particularly in light of the recent Irish Times [Best Place to Live in Ireland] Award. However, there is one area in which we did not make progress and that is the split of Newport into two electoral areas. I was in Newport for the launch of its new website by Minister Michael Ring and I found a vibrant, young population. This town must be moved back into the Westport area, and it is incumbent on each one of us to make sure it happens before the end of our term,” Cllr Flynn argued yesterday.
The new Cathaoirleach of the committee, Cllr Johnny O’Malley said it was ‘an awful decision’ to split the town and confirmed he had received ‘a large number of representations’ about the issue.
Councillors also noted the bizarre fact that Glenhest, which is on the far side of Newport, remains in the Westport Electoral Area.
Director of Services, Martin Keating, said that if a submission was to be made to a future boundary commission ‘it must be a strong one, since Newport looked towards Westport for its services’.
Mr Keating also congratulated the people of Newport on their new website.
“With the development of the Greenway, there are so many visitors embracing the town and its lovely wide streets,” he said.
In 2008, the Electoral Area Commission, moved Newport East from the Westport area into the Belmullet area, a division defined by the Black Oak river, precipitating the early retirement of longtime Fianna Fáil councillor, Frank Chambers.
THE new Cathaoirleach of Westport Electoral Area, Cllr Johnny O’Malley, was proposed by Cllr Ollie Gannon and seconded by Cllr Margaret Adams.
HAVE YOUR SAY email firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments