The merger of Cork’s city and county councils, which is now the focus of a major legal challenge, has been backed by Cork Chamber.
The Chamber has urged the Cork community to focus on the positives which a unified Cork local authority would bring to the region and highlighted its disquiet at the unbalanced views.
Chamber president, Barrie O’Connell, said: “It is frustrating from a business perspective that much of the public commentary expressed by adversaries to unification has failed to mention or allude to any of the plethora of benefits associated with unification such as enhanced economic development, jobs growth, faster and more efficient decision making and the abolition of fragmentation across the Cork region on key strategies which currently exist in areas such as tourism, enterprise development and economic policies. It is fundamental that we are in a position to speak with one strong united voice on behalf of a population in excess of 500,000 people. This will unleash opportunities which catapult us on to the world stage and empower us to compete as an international location of substance with some of the best second tier cities on the globe. We should not put ourselves in a position where our relative competiveness is not optimised, so retaining the status quo is not a feasible option”.
Conor Healy, chief executive, Cork Chamber, stated: “Cork Chamber, as a leading business organisation, with deep roots of almost 200 years in representing Cork business is mindful of its position as a significant influencer and the premier forum for policy initiatives enhancing the business environment in the Cork region and as such places a strong emphasis on advocating well-researched evidence-based proposals. Consequently, during the public consultation phase which was open to all interested parties to air their views in advance of the Cork Local Government Review report being developed, Cork Chamber focused on the underlying theme of what is best for Cork in terms of guaranteeing a prosperous and cohesive Cork region which is a self-sustaining economic engine of national growth. Having taken cognisance of and carrying out in-depth research and analysis of available international and national research on the subject, we are confident in the Committee’s recommendation for a unified authority, with a strong metropolitan division at its core as the optimal solution for Cork.”