One authority to govern Limerick-city and county

first_imgWhatsApp NewsLocal NewsOne authority to govern Limerick-city and countyBy admin – September 9, 2010 650 Advertisement Email Twitter City is dead…airport is dying, warns BrosnanA NEW unified Limerick local authority to administer the city and service a population of almost 190,000 people, has been recommended to the government by the Limerick Local Government Committee, whose chairman, Denis Brosnan, did not mince his words when, briefing the media on details of the report, he said: “Limerick needs a regeneration of its city centre more than the four housing estates involved.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “Limerick needs a new authority with a new mandate to look after the social issues and that of regeneration, which doesn’t know if its mandate will be renewed in two years.“The city is dead, the airport is dying and so is the region – we are trying to turn it into a region that is going again”.The report estimates that an extension of the city boundary into the city’s suburbs in County Clare and County Limerick would create an administrative area serving 187,000 people, which would make Limerick the third biggest city in the country.Upwards of €20million per annum would be achieved in cost savings through the merging of staffing and administrative structures of both councils and the elimination of duplication and these savings would be used to support the city centre’s business environment by harmonising rates in the city centre and suburbs.The report calls for a new management structure for the Limerick Authority and the acquisition of skills and expertise required to meet Limerick’s challenges.It also stipulates that the new authority will have the resources of the third largest city in the country and service a population of 187,000, and the committee recommends that the mayor of the new authority should be elected for a five year term.Throughout the report the stark reality of the city’s deterioration is highlighted.“The relative deprivation of the city has steadily increased over the past 15 years – it is not surprising that the urban core of Limerick performs poorly in other respects as the increases in levels of deprivation occurred during the latter years of the most sustained period of economic growth that the State has experienced”.Following a continuous decline in the population within the city boundary, it now stands at approximately 52,000. All of the areas of severe deprivation are within the boundary, but, as the report points out, the population of the metropolitan area is approximately 100,000 and contains many affluent suburbs (outside the city boundary).“The exclusion of many of Limerick’s suburbs distorts the city’s statistical profile and this has a damaging impact on Limerick’s reputation and lessens the likelihood of potential investment,”  Mr Brosnan asserts.The issue of the suburbs of Shannon Banks and Westbury being included in the boundary extension, is not a stumbling block, he says.“There is no question of a plebiscite being held in Shannon Banks on this – the housing is built in Limerick city. Nobody can tell me that Shannon Banks is in Clare.“We couldn’t put 97,000 people into the city from Clare but yes, we can do so with the 3,000 in Corbally”.The report recommends that pending the 2014 elections, following the establishment of the new Limerick Authority, a mayor should be elected from the 46 members to serve until the 2014 local elections.Supporting the report’s recommendations, Limerick Chamber president, Kieran MacSweeney, said their one priority is that any changes to the local government structure will deliver a city of sufficient scale to allow it reach its full potential to become a driver of growth throughout the region.“We believe the report delivers this and while we were concerned that combining both authorities would take years, we have been assured that this could happen very quickly if it gets the support of the people and the key stakeholders”.center_img Linkedin Facebook Print Previous articleBoost for small firms in tendering processNext articleHSE and INMO clash on hospital cuts adminlast_img read more