Reacting to the CCMA report, Clare County Manager Tom Coughlan noted that Clare Local Authorities successfully deliver a host of projects each year to the benefit of local businesses and communities in Clare. Mr. Coughlan said that economic and tourism development are key objectives of Clare County Council.
“Clare Local Authorities, in collaboration with the business community and a network of national/local agencies, provide a key enabling role in a myriad of activities which result in a job dividend. The CCMA report highlights the important role played by local authorities across the country in the delivery of priority infrastructure, enterprise supports, tourism, cultural and heritage assets,” he added.
Mr. Coughlan said that the CCMA report outlines that Ireland’s 34 local authorities are “taking the lead in the initiation and rollout of a wide number of projects that are having a direct and indirect positive influence on enterprise, employment and education”.
He continued: “In Clare, we have adopted a pro-business stance that involves strategic long term plans aimed at increasing economic activity in the County. These strategies are outlined in the Clare County Development Plan which proactively pursues economic growth, enterprise and employment in collaboration with the relevant agencies. Clare Local Authorities key role in the community is typified by the latest CCMA report outlining the significant number of actions, projects, activities undertaken in the County during 2011.”
CCMA REPORT DETAILS:
During 2011, Clare Local Authorities developed a number of key policies aimed at stimulating economic recovery, including the Strategic Integrated Framework Plan for the Shannon Estuary, Economic Development Strategy 2011-2014, Energy and Climate Change Strategy, and the Wind Energy Strategy.
In the area of Research and Development (R&D), Clare Local Authorities supports local projects while it is involved in collaborative EU projects with third level institutes. For example, in 2011, technical support and financial assistance was provided to the recently established Ennis Innovate - Innovation Centre - a collaborative project with NUI Galway, University of Limerick, Clare County Council, Shannon Development, Enterprise Ireland, Clare Enterprise Board and CLDC. The project provides R&D support and commercialisation programmes to new and existing business in Clare in an off-campus model in Ennis.
Nine separate actions or projects relating to Economic Promotion were also directly supported or initiated by Clare Local Authorities last year. They included the hosting of Clare Enterprise Week and a Marine Energy Seminar, which brought industry and academic experts together in Ennis to investigate potential and opportunities for marine energy job creation. The Council also continued to develop an online Clare Business Directory, featuring information relating to over 5,000 businesses.
Meanwhile, Clare Local Authorities implemented six separate Labour Activation Measures during 2011. The Council created employment through the upgrading the rollout of improvement works and energy efficiency measures to its housing stock, facilitated placements required by people undertaking FAS Training Courses, and participated in the Redundant Apprentice Placement and JobBridge Internship schemes.
A number of infrastructure projects also were initiated, developed or completed in 2011, most notably the Doolin Pier Development, Ennis Inner Relief Road, Ennis flood relief works, and the Killaloe By-Pass and Shannon Crossing Non-National Strategic Route Project.
Clare Local Authorities directly supported the provision and development of new and existing recreation and amenity facilities, most notably the construction of a new library, theatre and art gallery in Kilkee, the development of cycle facilities and schemes in Ennis and Shannon and along the National Strategic Cycle network, and the development of integrated multipurpose community recreational and sports facilities in Clarisford (Killaloe) and Gallery Park, Kilrush. Furthermore, financial support was provided to dozens of community festivals and events, including St. Patrick's Day Parades, Seachtain na Gaeilge, Christmas Lighting Schemes, An Post Tour de Burren Cycle, the East Clare Walking Festival, Biodiversity Week, Clare In Bloom, the Architectural Design & Conservation Awards Scheme, Pride of Place, Heritage Week, and the Annual Arts Grants Scheme.
In the area of tourism, Clare County Council initiated the opening of the Loophead lighthouse for a 12 week period while financial and technical support was given to the Clare Tourism Forum.
The full report and database of activities and outputs by each local authority can be found at http://www.lgma.ie/