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Councillors cut back in all areas

Following the very last meeting of Portlaoise Town Council at Aras an Chontae, Portlaoise on Tuesday last, Cllr. Willie Aird (MCC -Chairman Portlaoise TC ) hands over his Chain of Office to  Michael Rainey (Town Manager) to be placed in the Laois County Council Archive. Photo:Tim Keane.

Following the very last meeting of Portlaoise Town Council at Aras an Chontae, Portlaoise on Tuesday last, Cllr. Willie Aird (MCC -Chairman Portlaoise TC ) hands over his Chain of Office to Michael Rainey (Town Manager) to be placed in the Laois County Council Archive. Photo:Tim Keane.

Voters need to know that there are some big changes since they last went to the polls to choose politicians to represent them in local Government.

Gone are the town councils and the county councillors have been cut from 25-19. There are three municipal districts.

The Portlaoise Abbeyleix area stretches to Ballinakill and will have seven councillors. It has taken some of the old Borris-in-Ossory electoral area and borders Kilkenny.

Arguably, Portlaoise voters are losing significantly in this new boundary. Gone are the nine town councillors while for the past five years Portlaoise had seven county councillors. It got an extra councillor the last time to reflect population growth.

To the east is the new Graiguecullen - Portarlington municipal district. It is a sprawling area that borders Offaly, Kildare and Carlow. The new six seat area takes in the old Emo and Luggacurren electoral areas. Eight councillors served the area last time. Some of the fastest rates of population growth in Ireland have taken place in this new district.

Finally, to the west of the county is the biggest electoral area. The new Mountmellick electoral area stretches from Clonaslee to Rathdowney taking in Mountrath, Durrow, Errill and Ballyfin.

People in this area are losing most in terms of representation. Up to now Mountmellick had nine town councillors and four county councillors. The old Borris-in-Ossory area had six county councillors. The new six seat constituency borders Offaly, Tipperary and Kilkenny.

 

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