Welcome to the blog site of the Limerick Chamber President.
Since being elected just three weeks ago, I have been working with members of the board and the CEO to review and agree on our work programme for the coming 12 months. More on that in my next blog. Now, a couple of strong messages are coming through from the membership. Yes, the membership want to see the chamber pursue initiatives that will create long-term value to the region. But there is a view that our priority needs to be focused on stopping and reversing the decline in our city centre immediately.
The chamber has responded to this and has pursued a range of collaborative initiatives with city council, city traders, Gardai and local political representatives over recent weeks. So this blog will attempt to keep our membership and wider community fully informed as to what the chamber is working on. And in doing so, we welcome your comments and feedback.
So in response to various concerns of ratepayers in Limerick, the Chamber has taken the concerns on-board and have become the lead partner in setting up meetings and lobbying the various agencies and bodies to ensure these issues are addressed and necessary action is taken.
The issues of you, our ratepayers are:
- Parking – make all parking 2 hour minimum, provide free periods. Introduce more user-friendly payment arrangements to ensure you pay only for 20 minutes if you park for 20 minutes.
- Commercial Rates – they are too high and do not reflect the current economic crisis. Look at introducing rate-free periods for vacant premises.
- Policing & Anti-Social Behaviour
- Graffiti & Derelict Buildings
- Access to city – bus & cycle lanes
- Marketing of City
Your chamber brought these concerns and met with the City Manager and various directors of service on the 4th of March. We are to meet with them to discuss how these can be addressed on next Thursday, the 1st of April. We shall keep you posted on progress.
Additionally some of the group walked the streets with Caroline Curley, Director of environment to highlight the litter problem as we see it. We believe that adequate resources are in place, what is needed is better utilisation and management. Others from the group met with Rory McDermot from the traffic department in city hall to discuss solutions to the perceived parking issues in the city.
To address crime and anti-social behaviour in the city your chamber representatives met with Chief Superintendent David Sheahan and Superintendent Frank O’Brien on Tuesday the 16th of March. We made a presentation to them outlining the various concerns of ratepayers in the city. We received a very positive reaction and are pleased to say that action is being taken. Indeed, as a follow-on from this meeting we are holding an information session in the Savoy Hotel, Henry St. on Tuesday 30th March at 3pm where the Gardaí will make a presentation on how they are addressing the concerns and issues we raised with them.
Much other work has been going on behind the scenes. Submissions on Limerick City Council’s Draft development 2010-2016 were due on the 15th March. The Chamber made a very comprehensive submission, outlining why and how revitalisation of city centre must be the core focus of City Hall in the foreseeable future.
So this week is going to be quite busy with the Gardai presenting their action plan and introducing their community officers to the pubic and the feedback expected from City Hall management. So my next blog will provide updates on these meetings as well as introducing the directors of the Limerick Chamber and outlining the priorities of the chamber for the coming 12 months. And I will also respond to any queries or concerns raised by you, our members.