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Discussions are to be held on the possibilities of County Councils in Clare and Tipperary entering a shared partnership when it comes to services in Killaloe and Ballina.

Since the beginning of July, the Killaloe-Ballina Town Enhancement and Mobility Plan has been on public display, it was drafted in collaboration between Clare County Council and Tipperary County Council.

Acting senior executive officer in the Killaloe Municipal District, Morgan Lahiffe explained, “The Draft Plan outlines a coordinated approach from both Local Authorities to public realm enhancements within Killaloe and Ballina, providing a clear vision for Killaloe and Ballina as linked settlements in the context of the changing transport and mobility profile of the towns. The outcomes of this plan will set specific objectives for both Councils to deliver on. This will require both Councils working collectively towards the provision of more services for both towns”.

Cllr Tony O’Brien (FF) had asked that discussions be instigated between the local authorities “with a view to having a shared partnership in the provision of services to our community of Killaloe and Ballina”.

Lahiffe detailed that Clare County Council acknowledged “the fact that Killaloe and Ballina form two towns but one community. Many services are currently provided to the communities from one side of the Shannon or the other. An example of this being the provision of Library services which is located in Killaloe whilst the provision of swimming pool facilities is located in Ballina”.

He added, “The motion has merit in the form of exploring any efficiencies that can take place in relation to items such as localised litter management, the possible provision of equipment to serve both communities”.

Both Councils have an opportune time to sit down and engage with the development of the Mobility and Enhancement Plan, Cllr O’Brien stated. “Share services such as the road sweeper, instead of workers stopping halfway on the bridge that there be a shared responsibility. I think it would be to the benefit of both communities to have a depot or workforces to share responsibilities for work in the area”.

Importance of community co-operation was stressed in the motion, Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) believed. “We have a real opportunity here with the mobility plan,” he said. A previous working group with Nenagh Municipal District was recalled by the Maghera native.

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