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Lourda Giles
Athlone Boundary Review
Secretariat Westmeath County Council
County Buildings
County Westmeath

Re: Athlone Boundary Review

Dear Chairperson,

I object to any change in the boundary between Counties Westmeath and Roscommon for the following


1. This is not a review of the boundary. This is an attempt by the Minister to justify the annexation

of a part of County Roscommon.

2. The interests of effective and convenient local Government would be best achieved by simple co-
operation between the two relevant Councils.

3. Our County is a unique expression of our local identity and the proposal to change the boundary

is politically, culturally and socially divisive and the process is neither objective or transparent. It

is not appropriate for your Commission or the Minister to be making any decisions regarding

boundary changes. The only democratic way for such a decision to be made is for a plebiscite of

the people in the affected area. Anything less would be utterly anti-democratic.

4. The transfer of the area suggested would result in a loss of population of 7,000 people. This will

have adverse consequences for the entire County.

5. The area that is proposed to be transferred is the industrial heart of the County.

6. The loss of the commercial rates will be permanent and will result in increases in commercial

rates for the remainder of the businesses in the County and will potentially result in our Council

having to find alternative funding for their services e.g. increasing LPT.

7. The area proposed to be transferred comprises an essential part of our rates base and there is no

continuing guarantee that can be given by either Central Government or Westmeath County

Council to Roscommon County Council to compensate Roscommon for the loss of the rates.

8. Monksland is increasingly the focal point for the people of South Roscommon with vital social,

cultural, educational and health facilities.

9. The proposed transfer will damage the social, sporting, economic and community life of the area

and the wider County.

10. Athlone’s success does not depend on straight lines or boundary changes. It is an easy task to

market the town and boundary changes are not required.

between the relevant County Council Officials.