Newcastle West neglected by Government
The building boom in Newcastle West over the past two years has netted up to €17m in taxes for the Government, yet the town continues to be neglected by the self-same Government, local Fine Gael councillor Patrick O'Donovan has claimed.
"It is now becoming clear that the current administration has no interest in the town of Newcastle West
other than as a cash cow for the Exchequer," Cllr O'Donovan said this week, blaming the "lack of
representation where it counts" for the problem.
And he lambasted politicians from the Government parties who blame the State agencies but do not
take responsibility for what their own political masters are doing.
"It has become fashionable recently for Government representatives and aspiring Oireachtas members
to act and talk like Opposition members in the hope that they can gain some advantage, as they pass
the blame of wasted opportunities from their own door to a State agency;" he said.
It was time for the "blame game to stop", he said before listing the failings of the Government in their treatment of Limerick's county town.
"For years we have been asking to be put on a list for a bypass and this has not happened. There has been no substantial investment in amenities to cater for the needs of the hundreds of new families in the town. Young people constantly highlight the fact their needs are not being met in the town.
"There has been no new industry brought to the town to keep the people living and working in the town and there has been no real increase in Garda numbers in Newcastle West despite well documented promises and huge population growth", he said.
The county's largest town has also been ommitted from the transport 21 initiative, he added.
"Limerick County Council does it's best with the limited resources they have, but it seems that when it comes to national commitment n Newcastle West just does not is register on the radar at all," he said.
"During 2004 / 2005, 376 housing es units were built ih the litbari- zone of the town," Cllr O'Donovan pointed out.
"As approximately 30 per cent of the cost of a new house goes back to revenue in taxation of one form or another, I estimate that the Government collected almost €17m in that short period !s with well in excess of €40m being it collected since this Governmentcame to office in 1997," he said.
A much larger proportion of the Government tax-take from Newcastle West should be reinvested in the town, said Cllr O'Donovan;
"Our town is growing at a phenomenal rate and while this is welcome, it takes a lot more than houses to make a town. Balanced and managed development with investment in all the relevant services is needed with supports being in places to sustain communities," he said.
"This is not happening in Newcastle West because we are not represented where it counts and that is why we are forgotten about and continuing to pay millions into Government coffers with very little return for the town," he said.
"The silence of those who should care is deafening and speaks volumes about their interest, or lack of interest, in our town and this is something which we all have an obligation to fight and address so that Newcastle West gets its fair share," he said.