is the only way forward
In 2007, the Fitzgerald
Report stated that regeneration would be completed within 5
years. In 2008, the 'Master' Plans declared that it would take
10 years. Now the Limerick Regeneration Agencies say it will
take 15 years. This is because the implementation of the 'Master'
Plans is totally dependent on the property boom that recently
imploded. Most economists believe that we won't see a similar
boom for a least 20 years. This is not acceptable.
Already an opportunity
to revolutionise community policing has been squandered and
too much time and money has been spent on displacing people
to clear the land for developers to build what would become
ghost estates in the current economic climate.
It is our view that
taxpayers money would be better spent on social regeneration.
Our Communities are more than just bricks and mortar and we
Since the publication
of the Fitzgerald Report in April 2007, Limerick City Council
has spent millions of Euro acquiring peoples homes for as little
as €20,000 in exchange for rented accommodation in other
Acceptance of the
councils offer is conveniently interpreted as 'wanting to leave'
and people lose their right to a new house in the newly regenerated
area. Council tenants are also being re-located. Most of the
people that have moved out are law-abiding and decent. But it
should be acknowledged that in its rush to depopulate, Limerick
City Council has also displaced some troubled families, denying
them the opportunity of social regeneration.
This policy may not
be illegal, but it is immoral. Simply put, it is taking advantage
of the disadvantaged.The ongoing depopulation by Limerick City
Council is undermining the hope and goodwill that residents
initially had towards regeneration.
Perfectly good houses
are being boarded up as people vacate and areas that used to
look normal now look run-down and frightening. This degeneration
process must stop.
We propose that,
having first gotten the consent of nearby residents, Limerick
City Council repopulate these houses with people already living
in the area. This would enable people to stay in the area as
they wait for their new homes to be built while freeing up houses
City Council proposes to spend €2.8 million of taxpayers
money to rent private houses in other estates and sublet them
to people from regeneration areas.
However, our depopulation
/ repopulation approach would save millions in taxpayers money
while at the same time revitalising parts of regeneration areas
and raising the communities spirit.