Castlebar town councillor Brendan Henaghan has called for a subcommittee to be set up to liaise directly with the Chamber of Commerce following the postponement of the jobs meeting this week.
“I’ve asked the issue to be put on the agenda for the next town council meeting. I chaired the meeting in April when the Chamber of Commerce delegation made their presentations and I feel partly responsible there was no follow up,” Cllr Henaghan admitted.
The Fine Gael representative has also strongly refuted any allegations of political pressure leading to the postponement of the meeting.
“An Taoiseach is fully aware of the jobs situation in his home town. He attended and spoke at the Mayo Industrial Advocacy Group public meeting in April and committed to meeting the group again later in the year. It is unfair to think the Taoiseach or Fine Gael can wave a magic wand and make jobs appear overnight,” Cllr Henaghan continued.
He outlined how Castlebar Town Council allocated €10,000 in its 2013 budget to promote Castlebar as a jobs destination. “The chamber or the advocacy group should take this money up as it was one of the recommendations they made in their report,” he added.
According to Cllr Henaghan Castlebar Town Council has reduced the rates for the past three years but the core problem with rates is the valuations which is controlled by the valuation office. “The huge increases in Dublin and Waterford that have been publicised lately are really scaring ratepayers and if those increases happened here it would push a lot of business over the edge.
“Carparking charges are something we can look at in the budget. I believe that as Castlebar Town Council enters its last year we have a responsibility to ratepayers to help them survive the current recession and keep as many jobs viable as possible,” he concluded.