Senator Maura Hopkins, who attended yesterday’s briefing on the Athlone Boundary Review for local Oireachtas members stated that “the recommendation not to change our county boundary at the present time is positive and reflects the strong support by the people of Roscommon to ensure this result was achieved”.
However, Senator Maura Hopkins added that she is “concerned that the report did not close the door on a boundary change in the future”.
“The report outlines four main conditions which should be met, a Joint Retail Strategy in 18 months; a joint Local Area Plan in 24 months; comprehensive review of service delivery both by Roscommon and Westmeath local authority along with other bodies such as the HSE and IDA and implementation of these service delivery changes. If these conditions are not met within a four year period, it is the view of the committee that the boundary be extended.”
Senator Hopkins went on to say “the report clearly sets out the need for both Roscommon and Westmeath local authorities and other agencies to work more closely. It will be extremely important that both authorities are assisted in every way possible by the Department to work on these recommendations. The ultimate aim of this enhanced cooperation and working together is on trying to ensure this region seeks to attract more people to live, work, visit, raise their families and enjoy a good quality of life.”