Constituency Review Submission from Barry Fleming
Submission ID: S74
I believe it is very important that the Waterford 4 seat constituency be expanded to a 5 seater by incorporating the northern suburbs of Waterford City located in Co. Kilkenny.
Waterford is the Capital of the Southeast Region and named in the Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework as the key economic driver for the Southeast Region and targeted as one of the five cities named in the NPF for major investment and population growth. Waterford Constituency’s current status as a 4-seater puts it at a severe disadvantage in terms of having the number of Dail Deputies to influence national policy, to the detriment of the aims of the NPF. It is perverse that people living in the suburbs of Waterford City cannot vote for Dail contestants that have as their main aims the furtherment of Waterford but instead can only vote for Carlow or Kilkenny Dail contestants who’s focus and aims are often contrary to Waterford’s agenda as Regional Capital. Decisions on regional policy are often decided by headcounts of TD’s on such topics as locations for University or Hospital investment, the Waterford/Kilkenny boundary extension fiasco etc.
The population of the city, including suburbs in Co. Kilkenny is over 60,000 now but I’m not sure if the population of the existing Dail Constituency has increased enough to warrant an extra seat. That is why the constituency boundary needs to be redrawn to incorporate the citizens of the city suburbs and environs, which would give a constituency population justifying 5 seats. Existing county boundaries should not be sacrosanct in deciding Dail boundaries when such an anomaly exists
This is a democratic deficit that, among other causes, has resulted in Waterford being held back for decades and should be corrected now.