McCarthy: Social Element must be key in 2050 Plan

Press Release

   Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy views the Cork 2050 plan, which is part of the National Planning Strategy, as an opportunity to create a new vision for the city’s future; “business as usual is not an option for Cork for its future; it is a chance to scale up Cork to be a Southern capital and not to be just a small regional city. We need to rebrand the city and region. We are a former European Capital of Culture, one of Europe’s foremost ports, and is a Unesco City of Learning. We need to carve a space for this city and region in north west Europe and pitch ourselves an Atlantic Region of Innovation. The gaze cannot always be towards Dublin.

  “Ambition, imagination and funding is needed thinking ahead. We need to construct faster communication networks such as new motorways to Limerick, faster rail routes between Cork and Dublin – we should be able to reduce the travel times between Cork and Dublin – from 2 ¾ hours to 1 ½ hours with advanced rail and rolling stock. Higher broadband specs are crucial. Currently in rural County Cork those with broadband have on average 3mbs per second. Our schools in County Cork can’t even skype. This isn’t good enough going forward”.

  Continuing Cllr McCarthy commented; “New growth areas need to be pursued such as the Digital Single Market, Maritime energy clusters; rural enterprise programmes need to be further invested in to curb depopulation”.

  “We also need to create new regional indicators of growth – more social indicators than economic indicators. GDP cannot be just the key indicators. We need to provide affordable housing for the region; we need to future proof against austerity. We need to implement our Age Action Plans, Healthy Cities plan, and informal and formal educational programmes”.