Government plans to direct population growth to regional cities to make them attractive investment destinations and allow the development of greater public infrastructure, has prompted a local councillor to call for a dedicated town centres management team to be set up in the North County.
Departments in the local authority, like Water Services, Operations, Finance, Housing and Community, Economic Enterprise and Corporate Affairs and others, are headed up by a Director of Services, as part of the management team.
Cllr Joe Newman (NP) said, “In keeping with the overall development and with a view to the future development and growth of the North County, I believe it is time that we considered making sure that we have a dedicated official from the local authority to have responsibility for the growth and development of town centres in the North County,” he said.
“This is vital to ensure that all our towns, particularly Swords, which is an emerging city, develop in a sustainable way into the future for many generations. At present, I’m not sure that we have a person with such a designation, which I think is really needed to ensure that the views of all the interested parties are taken into account,” he said.
“I intend to raise this topic at a local area meeting as soon as I finish my research and I will raise it as a motion and I hope to have sufficient support from my fellow councillors. While I will be proposing this for Swords initially, this has the potential to be rolled out in all of our towns in the North County.
It is something different to what has been happening up to now and perhaps a pilot scheme in Swords could be initiated to gauge its effectiveness.”
Newman continued, “We need to be thinking strategically and to be in a strong position to compete for tourists visiting the country and it is incumbent on us all to make sure that our town centres are developed in a sustainable way, in order to avail of the expected influx in tourists over the next few years.”
“While we already have dedicated departments in the Council, I believe that the time has come to have a dedicated team to look closely at developing our town centres,” concluded Newman.