Proposal to halve number of Claremorris area meetings attracts strong opposition

Mayo County Council received strong opposition this week to a proposal to reduce the sittings of the Claremorris electoral area committee meetings from every month to bi-monthly. One local councillor even went so far as to accuse the council of snubbing the area.

Director of Services for the Claremorris and Ballinrobe areas Seamus Granahan told a meeting on Wednesday evening that it was his wish to hold the meetings every second month in 2012, in line with the other electoral areas. He added that it would be possible to convene a special meeting in the intervening month if urgent matters, including planning items, arose.

However, Ballinrobe area councillor Patsy O’Brien said he was totally opposed to any change in standing orders and he asked for his fellow councillors’ support not to let it happen.

He said it was “very rich” of Mayo County Council and accused them of not having time to hear their concerns. He went so far as to accuse the council of snubbing the members of the Claremorris electoral area.

He said it would be “a sad day for democracy” adding, “I don’t accept and totally reject” the proposal.

He was supported by independent councillor Richard Finn who explained that every two months have a different policy. “They might practise this in other areas but it doesn’t mean we have to practise what they preach,” was the opinion of Cllr Finn.

It was agreed to put the item on the agenda of the next meeting for discussion, with Cllr O’Brien vowing to force it to a vote.

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