Limerick Leader - Saturday, 08 May 2010.
of regeneration priority projects are submitted to Cabinet
proposals on 26 regeneration projects to be prioritised have
been given to Cabinet, with a response expected in the coming
weeks, according to Brendan Hayden, Southside director of regeneration.
told Limerick City Council this Tuesday that he had been getting
"positive vibes" from Government departments, but
could not name any specific projects for fear of raising public
Ger Fahy said: "It's crunch time. The government has endorsed
the vision for regeneration, but the public are very wary of
the process now. Everyone admits we have to prioritise certain
projects. The one thing in our favour is the reduced cost of
construction. Next month, regeneration will be three years old.
People are losing faith as time goes on. If the Government doesn't
respond to us before the summer recess, that's just not good
said that, while the regeneration budget promised in the Master
Plan had now been cut from j1.6bn to j918m, this was partly
offest by a 25 to 39 per cent reduction in tendering prices
important the Government responds to the list of priorities.
There are houses designated for demolition that may not now
need to be demolished, so there's a terrible air of uncertainty.
If we don't invest in these communities, it'll cost us more
in the long run. We need a clear definitive response from the
Government," said Cllr Joe Leddin.
to the National Solidarity Bonds scheme, launched by Minister
for Finance Brian Lenihan, as a potential source of revenue
National Solidarity Bonds programme should be ringfenced for
the regeneration of Limerick city. If ever there was a project
that should be financed by that money, it's regeneration. I
don't think the Government can turn around now after three years
and abandon us. Money for regeneration has almost been halved
already. We're in the endgame now," he said.
Pat Kennedy criticised the lack of a written report to explain
the massive cut in the regeneration budget.
"It was €1.6bn. Now it's €918m. It's an insult
to have such a huge reduction and not even a public presentation
on it. The €1.6bn was absolute fantasy and fanfare. The
figures speak for themselves. This has been a savage cut in
the public spend," he said.
Kennedy also complained of the huge difference between 10 and
15 years in the timescale for regeneration.
"We need to stir the Cabinet from their insomnia. The taxpayer
should not be treated by public bodies in the way the banks
have treated us. We're in the dark here with no written report.
Members of the Cabinet are like a Trappist order doing everything
in secrecy," he said.
Maurice Quinlivan said he didn't want to "shoot the messenger",
but felt that the Government had betrayed the people of Limerick.
are 22,000 people in Limerick on the live register, but the
Government is transfixed on bailing out the banks. It is disgraceful
that the Government has binned people's hopes and aspirations,"
Quinlivan highlighted the importance of the promised MBA report
to clarify which social housing estates will be knocked down
and which will be kept intact.
critical for people to know whether their houses are going to
be demolished or not. I think it's unfair to leave people hanging
in limbo when its suggested that certain areas are not going
to be demolished without confirmation. The Cabinet is duty bound
to come forward with a speedy answer. People's hopes have been
dashed before. We must ensure this doesn't happen a second time,"