Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
Home › Forums › Ireland › well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ? › Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
At a time when the arse has fallen out of the economy and the city is haemorrhaging money, the City Manager has come up with an ingenious solution, to take even more money out of the city!:confused:
To be fair, it isnâ€™t all the City Councilâ€™s fault. Funding has inexplicably been cut despite the increased costs associated with the mini boundary extension and the resulting compensation that has to be paid to Limerick County Council.
With no rate increases in the County Council run suburbs , it doesnâ€™t take a genius to work out what the effect on city centre trade will be!
Local political gombeenism is killing the city and this nonsense has to stop once and for all. Come on John Gormley, its time to get the finger out!:mad:
Dismay as Limerick city businesses face a three per cent hike
By Nick Rabbitts
CITY centre businesses, already facing an uphill battle to win customers from shopping centres in the suburbs, will have another added disadvantage next year with rates set to go up by three per cent.
And to add salt to their wounds businesses in the county including the Crescent Shopping Centre and Castltroy won’t face any increase in their rate.
This Thursday, city councillors were presented with the City Council’s financial estimates ahead of the budget meeting which will take place Thursday next.
City management are recommending a three per cent commercial rate rise – the first since 2005 – but county management are advocating no increase be made next year, ahead of the their own budget meeting on December 15.
Meanwhile, following Finance Minister Brian Lenihan’s budgetary decision to cut the local authority’s spending power by seven per cent, city manager Tom Mackey has been forced to recommend savage reductions in funding to five out of eight sectors – including a cut of almost â‚¬500,000 to recreational projects.
According to the estimates, spending on education looks set to take a cut of more than â‚¬38,000, albeit the lowest projected cut.
However, there is better news for the city council’s housing programme – and the regeneration process set to get under way – as an extra â‚¬392,000 is being recommended.
The county council’s rates freeze represents a massive blow to city centre traders, who are already losing out because the county charges lower rates – providing a boost to suburban shopping outlets like Castletroy Shopping Centre and the Crescent.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader this Thursday, Cllr Jim Long said news of the county council’s rates freeze represents a “death knell.”
“This changes the whole ball game for Limerick City Council. We are struggling to compete with suburban shopping areas as it is. We have a responsibility to the business sector and Limerick city centre is on the decline. It is widely forecast that a number of businesses are facing the chop after Christmas. Inevitably when you increase the commercial rate, this will reflect back on the consumer. We should not be afraid to do the right thing. Unless we are fully satisfied this is the best budget, we should not accept it.”
Meanwhile, former Trade Minister Michael Noonan called on Mr Mackey to reverse his decision.
“Business people have had a dreadful year and the prospects for next year look no better. City businesses simply cannot afford a rate increase,” he said.
However, the chief executive of Limerick’s Chamber Maria Kelly said the city could not have done much more, considering the economic climate.
“We don’t welcome any rates increase obviously, but I am confident the rate was kept as low as possible – it could not have gone much lower,” she said.
Frank O’Mahony, managing director of O’Mahony’s Bookshop in O’Connell Street described a rates increase as “ridiculous”
“Every business in town is struggling. Most people are reporting their profits are down at least 15 per cent, but some are up to 40 per cent. It is somewhat strange to be claiming rates have not gone up for three years, when water costs in the city have gone up astronomically. Business costs are exceedingly high, and they are getting higher.”
Cllr Maria Byrne – a rate payer herself – has claimed the government have failed to consider in Limerick’s case, the fact that the city is operating at a larger area following this year’s boundary extension.
“We have more people to service now here in the city. Now the likes of Caherdavin and Coonagh are in the city, we should have received a further allocation,” she said.
The deputy mayor, Fianna Fail’s Cllr John Cronin, said: “Considering the economic situation, it would be nice to keep rates the way they are. The situation is so bad, I cannot understand why an increase in rates is being sought. We are getting no money from the extended city, because we have to pay a charge to the county every year for this. But I think the manager is doing the best he can considering we are â‚¬800,000 down on our government grant.”
Under the estimates, councillors expenses have been frozen, despite several city members, including Cllr Long admitting they were prepared to take a cut.
Cllr Long hit out at city management for recommending a massive â‚¬1.4m rise in ‘Miscellaneous Services’ – a sector which covers the costs of administration.
“Miscellaneous services is a very strange thing to be increasing,” he said, “The increase in miscellaneous services is double the cut.”
And he added he does not know if this tough budget will solve the problems.
“People say we are walking a tightrope with the budget. But I call it a circus act. We are on a trampoline situation here and I do not know if the safety net is going to withhold,” he concluded.
Despite major projects in the pipeline to construct the Coonagh to Knockalisheen Road – a major artery going through the city’s northside – as well as bus lanes, the roads department look likely to see its budget cut by more than â‚¬350,000.
And Mr Mackey is also looking to slash â‚¬147,000 from planning and development, in spite of the fact major retail strategies are due to be launched or completed over the next few years.
The difference in spend from Budget 2008 is 1.1 per cent.
Â© Limerick Leader