Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Paul McAuliffe
10 November 2015
SF/Labour block initiative to reduce empty retails units and support small trader – McAuliffe
Cllr Paul McAuliffe, the Chairperson of Dublin City Council’s Enterprise and Economic Development Committee has criticised the Sinn Féin / Labour coalition who control the council for not adopting a new initiative to reduce empty retails units and support small traders.
At this week’s Budget Meeting the Leaders of Sinn Féin and Labour Cllr Seamus McGratten and Cllr Dermot Lacey both rejected the Fianna Fáil proposal which would have seen landlords of empty properties contribute towards an enterprise fund for small retailers in the city’s urban villages.
Currently landlords of empty properties receive a rebate of 50% of the normal rates back from the Council. The Fianna Fáil motion proposed that that this would be reduced to only 45% of a rebate and the income generated would support small shops and businesses in the city’s urban villages. The fund which would have been administered by the Local Enterprise Offices could have provided small grants, training and area based shop local campaigns.
Criticising Sinn Féin and Labour, Cllr McAuliffe said: “I just cannot fathom why other parties have not supported this initiative. There is widespread consensus that empty shops in our villages can lead to decreased footfall and less economic activity. They can also attract antisocial behaviour and graffiti.
“This proposal would have penalised those landlords who let their units lie idle. It would also have supported the city’s urban villages which should be the basic unit of planning in a successful city. Our villages are hubs of economic and community life and I believe we should be doing everything we can to support the groups and businesses who operate their.
“I simply can’t explain why Sinn Féin and Labour decided to side with the City Manager and landlords over those small shops in the city,” said the Fianna Fáil Group Leader Cllr Paul McAuliffe.
The Fianna Fáil position follows the publication of a report earlier this year Dublin – A City of Villages, which detailed a number of radical measures proposed to bring life back into village centres across the city.