Home Forums Ireland Decentralization

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    • #708254

      What is happening with the Government’s decentralization plans – have any civil servants been forcibly evicted out of Dublin yet or is the Government waiting until the road network is in place so that they can drive to nether regions of the country in comfort.

    • #763321

      Its going ahead, just really slowly.

      The main problems being (a) very few people seem to want to go, and most of those who have applied to ‘decentralise’ are already based outside of Dublin, thus completely negating any net ‘benefit’ to the Govt’s plans, (b) constructing or buying offices is taking longer than expected.

      Its just short of two years since it was announced, and as far as I’m aware the only people to have been decentralised (of the 10,000 planned) are 50 Ag staff to Portlaoise, which may have already been planned before the announcement. The original announcement promised that all would be complete by end 06.

    • #763322

      Thanks for that information, Aidan. Not at all surprised by what you wrote. It seems that cheaper property and the ‘qualiy of life’ factor are not persuasive enough.

    • #763323

      I don’t think it’s a matter of persuasion. There is a very real fear among civil servants (even allowing for union hyperbole) that the ones who choose to move will be sidelined in promotion competitions etc, and that a two-tier system will evolve.
      Also, many civil servants are not originally from Dublin but moved here to take up their jobs and have since put down roots in the city (or, in most cases, its hinterland, due to house prices, pay scales etc- I used to work with them). In addition, there is no guarantee that a worker would be ‘decentralised’ to a location near their original home, and anyone who has ever tried to get the train from Cork to Galway knows what a futile exercise it is. At least in Dublin, they are usually only one journey from home (getting home for the weekend is still very much a feature of life for many younger civil servants). Only when we have a decent nationwide public transport system should such a policy be considered.
      However, I also think it’s fundamentally flawed, as it runs counter to the National Spatial Strategy, which at least had the merit of being based on planning rationale (hubs, gateways etc.) rather than vote-getting potential as with ‘decentralisation’.
      In other words, ‘Decentralisation’ is a politically motivated shambles that should be put to bed forever, but the current govt is too stubborn to do so, and it will ultimately be shooting itself in the foot if it tries to force the workers to comply. And the longer it goes on, the worse it gets, as regional towns are experiencing a development boom driven partly by their expectations of the influx, so in 10 or so years we’ll have a glut of unlettable office space and three-bed semis scarring towns that should never have been duped into a rosy, Parlon-flavoured future.

      PS Decentralisation is a misnomer- technically it means the decentralisation of power to the regions, which is categorically not a feature of this proposal.

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