The Listowel Business & Community Alliance speaks out in relation to the ongoing need for employment opportunities for the North Kerry Town emphasizing the feeling that the government has not supported towns to revitalise through more incentives to bring growth and allow people live in towns like Listowel. We need to bring investment and employment to encourage families to work and relocate out of the congested cities. We need families to live and have employment opportunities in North Kerry. Hub employment towns along the Western Seaboard are critical to stem rural decline.
Rural Ireland needs centralised decision making, a one stop shop, to tackle the problems facing Listowel and other similar towns such as vacancy, changing patterns of shopping and lack of employment opportunities which prevent growth. “We have multiple schemes for Rural Regeneration such as Local Enterprise offices through County Councils, Leader funding, Heritage, Teagasc and OPW. There is currently no central body taking charge of policy, strategy, funding and research of our towns and crucially measuring successes and failures in this area. We want immediate action to see what is working”
Traders and shops who pay rates, insurance and taxes cannot compete with online shopping, this is the biggest concern for retailers. “There is unfair competition between shop owners and online businesses who do not pay rates and Irish taxes where online businesses are overseas paying no Irish tax. Also the huge increases in insurance is crippling all Irish businesses and immediate action is needed to curb insurance costs”.
Paul O’Connor head of the Retail and Enterprise Group within the Business Alliance listed specific points affecting retailers across North Kerry;
• A reduction in damages on minor, fully recovered injuries.
• The introduction of a fully funded Garda Insurance Fraud Unit
• Securing a commitment from insurers on premium reductions
• A review of the common duty of care leading to one that is reasonable, practical and proportionate
• As part of a fit-for-purpose public waste management system, segregated on street collection infrastructure
• Compostable coffee cups should be exempt from a levy. Compostable cups are the only option available for impulse purchases that can be disposed of sustainably.
2020 will see work begin on two long awaited projects which will bring both challenges and opportunities to North Kerry. “Listowel Bypass will bring a greater need for supports to be put in place to enable the town to continue to market itself to keep visitors and shoppers visiting Listowel. The Great Southern Greenway from Abbeyfeale to Listowel is now under construction. We need support from government agencies to capitalise on the opportunities that this development presents.”
Rose Wall: “We want Listowel to develop as a true Irish authentic heritage town, to do this it is vital we get the support from government agencies to further our plans.”
Picture: Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Cllr. Mike Kennelly speaking this week to Alliance Members Paul O’Connor, Rose Wall, Colette O’Connor and Riobard Pierse.