A recent survey has shown that the vast majority of community members have no awareness of what is planned in a major project to take place in Tipperary Town's Market Yard.
The purpose of the survey was not to explore what people thought about the merits or otherwise of the project, but rather to test how effective (or not) the Council's consultation process had been. In other words, did people know what the plan was?
The key finding of the survey was that almost two thirds of participants had no idea what is being proposed in a major project to be commenced shortly in the Market Yard. The Council proceeded under what is known as a Part 8 process, which requires the Council to conduct public consultation before proceeding with such projects. There is no question that the Council complied with its statutory obligations under Part 8. However, tbere is a major question about whether the bare statutory minimum actually constitutes real "consultation" at all.
Council Notice, 2018
The public consultation appears to have consisted of information on the Council's website and some opportunities to view artist's impressions during a public consultation that occurred in the Excel on a single day (13th September) in 2018. It is now clear that the consultation has left the majority of people in the dark about what was being proposed. The project is due to commence from July 2021 onwards.
"The works in the market yard got objections outlining major issues which were ignored. The lack of proper consultation is staggering and actually listening to peoples concerns is beyond a joke. Lip service, and consultation which is not actual consultation when the decisions have already been made"
Asked whether they knew whether a major project was planned for the Market Yard, nearly 80% said they knew something was happening. However, nearly two thirds of people had no idea about what is involved in the project. Again, two thirds of people had not seen any drawings or artists's impressions.
"They should have rented an empty shop window to display the plans especially for people without access to the Internet"
Nearly three quarters of people said that they would have liked to have an opportunity to contribute ideas for future plans for the Market Yard. Asked whether they thought that the Council consults sufficiently with the community before the design of major projects, a massive 86.6% said no.
"Only heard about this from others didn’t know if it was going to happen"
While the focus of this survey was whether the Council has consulted properly, and not necessarily about the merits or otherwise of the impending project in the Market yard, many people wanted to comment on the project itself. The comments made by participants ranged from positive (4) to negative (34).
234 people took part in the survey, which took place online between 5 June and 11 June 2021.
Graphs of results
Sincere thanks to everyone who took part. The full report from the survey, complete with comments can be viewed and downloaded below. Some comments (4 out of 55) have been redacted due to being either irrelevant, offensive or potentially defamatory.