City centre revamp plans buried in folder

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SOCIAL Democrats councillor Elisa O’Donovan believes that the O’Connell Street Revitalisation Plans require better community consultation.

“I was very disappointed last week to find that the plans by Limerick City and County Council for the redevelopment of O’Connell Street were being held behind the customer service desk in a folder of drawings held together with an elastic band,” the City West representative said.

“This is simply not good enough for consultation about the future of our city’s main street and as a first step I have managed to get a commitment from them that they will pin them up for public display in city and county buildings.”

The O’Connell Street Revitalisation Project covers the area between the junctions with Denmark Street/ Arthur’s Quay and Cecil Street/ Lower Cecil Street.

And according to Cllr O’Donovan, the long awaited €9m proposal has disappointed a great many people and local groups, who were hoping for a thorough revitalisation of the city centre with a focus on cycling and sustainable public transport solutions into and around the city.

“I simply cannot support these plans as they currently are. At the cost of €9m we are getting exactly what we have at the moment just with slightly wider footpaths and the people of Limerick deserve better.

O’Donovan went on to claim that the public have not been listened to on this important issue.

“There were a lot of submissions in 2016 which contained excellent and creative suggestions for our city centre. Why were these submissions ignored?”

Another worrying issue with these plans, she maintains, is the question of accessibility and access.

“It is vital that the city centre be accessible to everyone and for this reason I will be holding a disability access audit of the proposed plans at a meeting in Headway later in the month. Because genuine consultation needs to include everyone, there will be a number of disability organisations represented on the day, including NCBI, IWA, Headway, as well as DFI, to ensure feedback from those living with disabilities is included.”