‘Leave Council seats alone’

Councillors want no change  Seamus Duke  Roscommon county councillors want no changes to be made to the overall number of seats in the various electoral areas in the county for the next local elections (in 2009). The Roscommon People reported exclusively in recent months that due to population changes in north Roscommon (a reduction) and in the general Athlone area (an increase), the number of seats in the North/West Roscommon area might be reduced by one, with the Athlone area gaining by one.   Following a discussion on the matter held in the council chamber this week, councillors have agreed to make a submission to the Boundaries Commission that, if acted upon, would see no change to the Athlone area. It was also agreed that councillors would accept a 7-seat electoral area if Ballaghaderreen and Castlerea were to be amalgamated and that the 12 existing seats would be retained in the Castlerea, Ballaghaderreen and Boyle areas (combined).  The submission to the Boundary Commission from Roscommon county councillors is to the following effect:  1. That the existing 12 seats for the three electoral areas – namely Castlerea, Ballaghaderreen and Boyle – be retained as those are the poorest areas of Co. Roscommon and need representation the most. 2. That in the event of all three-seat constituencies being abolished, a seven-seat constituency would be acceptable in an amalgamation of the Castlerea and Ballaghaderreen electoral areas. 3. That no changes be made to the existing Athlone electoral area.