‘Limerick at tipping point- but not beyond point of no return’

first_imgTwitter Linkedin Outgoing Chamber president optimistic that new future will dawnFORWARD thinking and some radical reform will be crucial if Limerick and the Mid-West region are to avoid being left behind economically, the outgoing president of Limerick Chamber claimed at its Annual General Meeting this week. President, Kieran MacSweeney, however, remains optimistic that a new era will dawn for Limerick but that, in addition to this reform, a master-plan is required and needs to be driven by a new single authority for the city.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “I still believe that Limerick has significant challenges to overcome. Limerick city is, regrettably, still a commercial black-spot today and is challenged economically. Some would say it is at a tipping point and we must not allow challenges we now face to tip us beyond the point of no return”.  Limerick, he warned, needs a fresh, creative and vibrant master plan to bring all this and more together.“That master plan must capture and seek to maximise our strengths, in areas such as heritage, arts and culture; in our sporting success, on and off the field; in education; in industries such as technology, agriculture/agri food and medical devices”. What was needed, he told members, was to set the target of Limerick becoming THE location of choice to live, to work and socialise in on this side of the island – a location that can become a beacon for foreign direct investment both in the city centre and in its suburbs.“To make this happen, we need the courage, foresight and conviction to put the best interests of the city ahead of the selfish protection of the status quo. This will include some radical reform, even of institutions that were real drivers in another era but that, although well-intentioned, are past their sell-by date today and not necessarily giving Limerick and the Mid-West region the competitive edge it needs and deserves in these most challenging of times”. Mr MacSweeney recommended that responsibility for the master-plan should be tasked to a single economic and enterprise development function within the new single authority and would include holding the national agencies of IDA and Enterprise Ireland accountable for specific job creation targets for Limerick city. He added that job creation and enterprise support has remained the number one priority for the Chamber over the past year as evidenced by the creation of the National Franchise Centre which has already been responsible for the creation of 15 businesses and 20 jobs. A second cohort of 23 participants are developing their business plans to launch new businesses later this year. Local Government Reform, he continued, has been a key focus for the Chamber whose decision to take the lead on this subject has been a key factor in the Government’s decision to adopt the recommendations of the Brosnan report and appoint Denis Brosnan to oversee the implementation of the new single authority for Limerick city and county. The Chamber, he emphasised, has consistently been a strong voice for rates reduction in the city, but regretted the level of reduction this year.“We were the first to look for a 25% reduction. This level of reduction is now accepted as the level necessary for the city to be competitive. We are disappointed with this year’s rate reduction for the city but we take some heart from our recent meeting with Minister Phil Hogan and his commitment to reduce the rates in line with the current county rates”.Mr MacSweeney will be succeeded as president by Gordon Kearney. Head of Development at Limerick Institute of Technology Dr Fergal Barry, is the incoming vice president. Facebook WhatsApp Emailcenter_img NewsLocal News‘Limerick at tipping point- but not beyond point of no return’By admin – February 8, 2012 664 Previous article‘That’s Limerick’ DVD showcases city and countyNext articleArts briefs admin Advertisement Printlast_img

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