Report from Economic SPC March 4th 2019

Todays meeting was about Clare County Councils submission to the RSES Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy. We discussed the document we were handed at the beginning of the meeting which included input from members of the SPC.

I learned about a “city of scale”. Effectively the area between Limerick and Galway incorporating Ennis and Shannon is a city of scale, all on the Atlantic Economic Corridor.

A major sticking point was the population projections for Clare in the existing draft RSES. Development and funding allocations will be decided based upon population projections. Therefore if the population of Clare is underestimated its cut of the budgets will be lower than required. It was agreed to include increasing the projected population of Clare in the submission to the final RSES which makes sense if government money is allocated per capita. While the discussion was being over cooked I giggled to myself wondering why we don’t just give out free contraception and reap the benefits of a population overestimation…..

btr

Minutes from the last SPC meeting of February 11th were passed:

 

The draft submission also mentions opposition to fracked gas. Reading what is said and what is not said is an acquired art in the policy arena. It states that “Clare County Council elected members have clearly indicated their opposition to the use of natural gas sourced through fracking“.  The elected members. Not “Clare County Council” as is used elsewhere in the document. So does that imply dumping the politicians means fracked gas may be ok in Clare? That the council executive are fine with it? This is the “sure we’ll let them think they’re in charge but we all know better” attitude.

I leave you with what I wrote on the draft submission during the meeting. There are a host of economic recommendations in the submission but not really any word of caution about minimising environmental impact. Obviously this is all about economic development and apart from renewable energy, business as usual.

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Picking battles

Theresa O’Donohoe

March 4th 2019

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