Thanks Lord Mayor,
There is a great depth across the activities of the
various directorates of the Council. I think all our Directors bring a level of
openness, listening and hard work ethic, which is warranted and very welcome in
this challenging times.
Despite the cuts, there is still much work being
pursued as well as many opportunities being mined.
COVID may have drawn us into a worrying time about
finances but has clearly showed the resilience of this organisation.
The turning around of the various government financial
stimuli by this organisation in very short time frames has been impressive.
Certainly 12 months ago no one was predicting aspects such as the pedestrianisation
of 17 streets and urban spaces and the strong ramping up of work on walking and
cycling in our city.
We must not let that momentum on improving the
urban fabric and environment slow down but keep pressure on, and keep the
collaborations with traders and citizens effective and positive.
Perhaps the only certainly that goes with next year is
that there will undoubtedly be further financial challenges– but it is
important that we advance on preparing part 8s, whether it is for housing or
roads, and keep sending such plans to either government or the NTA for approval
We have three 3 government cabinet Ministers from Cork – and I strongly think that we need a Microsoft Teams meeting with Minister McGrath in DPER to run over this Council’s ambitions in the short term.
What I learned recently from intervening with Minister
Ryan on his Teams meeting with us is that we should not assume as a Council
that all of the Cabinet are au fait with the Council’s work.
Where the meeting with Minister Ryan was very positive
and very open, I was still not content to hear the narrative of bungling Cork
in with Galway, Waterford and Limerick as just a mere regional city instead of
the country’s second city.
I would like to see a meeting with Minister McGrath
set up as soon as possible and that we liase with Minster Ryan early in the new
It is important opportunities are seized to realise
the stepping stones on the way to achieving our ambitions.
Certainly, if you empower a local authority such as
Cork City Council, it will deliver in spades.