Today (16 April 2019), Chambers Ireland is launching our Local Government manifesto and calls on voters to ask their candidates the hard questions about the long-term future of their areas: How candidates intend to deliver sustainable infrastructure and housing for their communities? What will they do to support local economic development? And, how will their policies help adapt our economy to decarbonisation?
Chambers Ireland is a network of businesses with a geographic reach that spans the cities and towns of Ireland. Chambers have been active in Ireland for over 200 years. This lends a long-term perspective to how we look at the economy and the world we live in.
Speaking today, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot calls on all voters to get engaged and to vote on 24 May, saying; “We’ve come a long way since the last election in 2014. Our economy is growing and we’re almost at full employment, so while prosperity might have returned, the sustainability of our economy must now be the focus of our attention.
The National Development Plan sets out a long-term view on how to build a better future for Ireland. Our cities and towns need tens of thousands of new homes. We need to build better places to live and do business. Better planning and long-term thinking will improve the quality of life and quality of local economies around the country. The decisions that elected members of our local authorities make in the coming years will be central to realising this ambition.
We in Chambers Ireland are calling on all voters to vote. Our local authorities matter, and their decisions can’t be left up to someone else. We call on all candidates to take the long-term view and help build a better Ireland.”
Chambers Ireland calls on candidates for local government to support the long-term vision for Ireland and consider the following;
- Our approach to the urban environment needs a revolution, we need integrated housing, transport, and civic spaces which prioritise the needs of the people living and working there.
- Our local authorities need to co-operate to guide the development of our cities and towns so that policy decisions are coherent at the regional level and are consistent over multiple election cycles.
- All our regions need to benefit from the production of green energy. If rural Ireland is to benefit from our decarbonising economy, it will need help to move beyond the traditional agri-food sector and into innovative new industries.
- Ireland needs to work harder to facilitate women remaining in or returning to the workforce. The network of Local Enterprise Offices and other Local Government structures need to develop strategies that will support women in their areas.
- If we are to have thriving local economies, our local authorities need to have procurement policies which look towards quality and long-term sustainability.