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Minister English announces actions to support revitalisation of Tipperary Town

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  • Production of a “Collaborative Town Health Check”
  • Recruitment of project manager to develop projects / funding bids
  • Appointment of Carmel Fox to provide independent oversight and leadership for this process.

Damien English T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for Housing and Urban Development, today (20 September) announced a package of measures to support the revitalisation of Tipperary Town following extensive engagement with local stakeholders and representatives. Over a 3-year period, these measures will facilitate a partnership approach between the local community, Tipperary County Council and key other stakeholders in order to develop and deliver an action plan for the town.

The Minister is delighted to announce that Ms. Carmel Fox, former chief executive of Ballyhoura Development Company, has agreed to serve as an independent chair for this process and he said that “I know Carmel will bring her extensive knowledge of local, social and community development issues to bear on this process and will set high standards for all the partners working to revitalise Tipperary Town”. The Minister noted that Ms. Fox will play a key role in bringing all local stakeholders together to develop an agreed path forward for the town.

The first key step in the revitalisation process will be the production of a “Collaborative Town Centre Health Check” for Tipperary Town. The Health Check is a pilot initiative developed by The Heritage Council which brings together the private, public and civic sectors in a town to develop an agreed town centre-led commercial, heritage and tourism baseline from which an action plan can then be developed. Minister English expressed his appreciation to Ms. Virginia Teehan, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, for facilitating the inclusion of Tipperary Town in the initial pilot phase of the Health Checks process. The Minister specifically said “I welcome the support of the Heritage Council in the Tipperary Town Centre Health Check. I know this process works really well in identifying key issues and bringing people together with a common sense of purpose”

Minister English was also pleased to confirm that the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government is making funding available to assist with the recruitment of a full-time project manager who will work on developing agreed actions and funding proposals / bids on foot of the finalised Tipperary Town Health Check. Tipperary County Council is fully committed to supporting this project and it is hoped that the recruitment process will commence in the coming months.

The Minister wished well to all the participants in this revitalisation project and he reiterated his Department’s support. He noted that Ms. Fox will meet with Ms. Alison Harvey of the Heritage Council early next week to discuss a more detailed timeline for the Tipperary Town Health Check and that this will then inform the timing of the recruitment of a fulltime project manager.

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Lowry Welcomes Funding for Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations

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I welcome the announcement from the Department of Agriculture today that six Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations will benefit from €86,000 between them.

Applications for 2020 funding will be open soon. All applicants must be registered with the Charities Regulator.

Cappanagarrane Horse Rescue, Mullinahone – €6,000

Great Hounds in Needs, 7 Cois Coille, Kilcash, Clonmel – €2,000

Mo Chara Animal Rescue, Ballygemmane, Thurles – €14,000

PAWS Animal Rescue, Mullinahone – €45,000

Roscrea SPCA, Roscrea – €18,000

The Haven Rescue, Tipperary, C/o 26 The Haven, Roscrea – €1,000

Funding for Animal Welfare Organisations is vital for them to continue to carry out their work.

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Drivers continuing to receive mixed messages about NCT testing inspections

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Independent TD and General Election candidate Mattie McGrath has written to the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, and the head of the NCT Test service, to seek immediate clarification around the suspension by the NCTS of its vehicle lift inspections. Deputy McGrath was speaking after reports were made that several NCT Centres have resumed full service; a claim that is contradicted on the NCT national website which says that the suspension remains in place across the NCT network:

“There is huge confusion around this issue and drivers are getting extremely frustrated by the mixed messages that they are receiving.

The NCTS are also saying that those drivers who have presented already and who have ‘failed’ their test due to an inability to access the underbody of the vehicle should hold on to their report to present to Gardai if challenged for a not having a valid NCT Cert.

I have spoken to a number of gardai however and they have assured me that they have received no instruction in this matter in terms of applying discretion to drivers.

Drivers need to know if they are going to have penalty points applied or not.

There is also the question of why these faults were not identified as part of routine reviews at each individual testing centre. Was there any need to suspend the inspections across the entire network?

We need answers to these questions so that confidence can be maintained in the NCT service and so that drivers can be free of the concern that they are going to be penalised for faults in the system outside their control,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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Improved pay and conditions for childcare workers is a priority for FF – Goldsboro

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Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Tipperary Cllr. Imelda Goldsboro says her party will address the current inequality faced by childcare workers if elected to government.

Cllr. Goldsboro made the comments as thousands of childcare workers travelled to Dublin yesterday to protest against their pay and conditions.

“Early childhood care and education is one of the most important parts of any society and the people charged with taking care of our children should not have to march on our capital to have their voices heard”, said Cllr. Goldsboro.

“Many of these workers have third level qualifications but their pay simply does not reflect that.  Fianna Fáil is committed to securing a Sectoral Employment Order for staff in the early years sector to ensure better pay and conditions.

“We will also bring forward measures to make childcare more affordable for families across Tipperary and right around the country.  There are simply not enough childcare places, and the creches and early childhood centres are being swamped with additional paperwork and increased costs.

“Insurance is a huge issue for the majority of childcare providers and we have situations now that creches are closing because they can’t afford to stay in business.

“Fianna Fáil is pledging to tackle these issues head on.  We will establish a new €10 million commercial rates relief fund, which will provide important support to creches who are crippled by commercial rates. We will also increase the National Childcare Scheme subsidy for ordinary workers with an investment of an additional €81 million to increase the universal childcare subsidy from €20 per week to €80 per week.

“Yesterday’s rally led by the Early Year’s Alliance should not be ignored by any public representatives or those seeking public office. It is paramount the next government tackle this crisis head on. It is something my Fianna Fáil colleagues and I are committed too,” concluded Cllr. Goldsboro.

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