County council to get eight more members

County council to get eight more members
Donegal is to get an extra eight county councillors under proposals from the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee.

Donegal is to get an extra eight county councillors under proposals from the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee.

The changes would bring the number of members sitting on the council to 37.

Donegal County Council’s five electoral areas will remain unchanged in the proposals.

The committee took into account the 2011 census which saw the county’s population increase to over 161,000. The increase in councillors also follows the proposed abolition of the county’s four town councils in Letterkenny, Buncrana, Bundoran and Ballyshannon.

The report has proposed that the Letterkenny area will increase its representation on the council by three to ten. Inishowen will increase by two to nine while Donegal, Glenties and Stranorlar will all increase by one to six.

The council had made a submission to the committee calling for the council’s five electoral areas to be retained citing the size of the county and the decentralisation of services that has taken place. There had been speculation that the Stranorlar electoral area would be carved up and that Ardara and Glenties would move from the Glenties electoral area into Donegal.

Stranorlar Electoral Area Cllr. Patrick McGowan said the submission from the council had paid off. “A lot of counties are being carved up,” he said.

The councillor said he was delighted to see the Stranorlar area retained, and said there had been suggestions that the area could have been split between the Letterkenny and Donegal electoral areas. The Stranorlar area was established in 1999, though Cllr. McGowan said there had also been suggestions in 2004 that the area could be eliminated. “We have survived again, but it took a fair bit of lobbying,” he said.