Joe McGrath, CEO of Tipperary County Council has received a detailed list of factors that need to be taken into account in forming the "locally-led" task force called for by the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD. The March4Tipp group has given until mid-January for the Council to outline its plans to give effect to the commitments made in the Dáil by the Taoiseach. If the Council does not produce such a plan, the March4Tipp group intends to carry out the disruption of N24 traffic that was deferred following the Taoiseach's intervention. The expected aspects of the plan are set out below in an email that was sent by March4Tipp to Mr McGrath.
On Monday, the Cashel-Tipperary Municipal Council refused to approve 2-hour free parking in Tipperary Town. This was in the face of the thousands of people who have engaged in protest marches seeking, amongst other things, 2-hour free parking in the town. A picket took place at the Civic Offices on Monday, to remind Councillors of the need to provide 2-hour free parking to help out the retail sector in the town. Councillor Martin Browne proposed a motion that 2-hour free parking be introduced on all streets in the town. The Council did not decide on the motion, according to Councillor Browne, because of concerns by some businesses that it would "affect their trade.
Last night, Councillor Browne clarified on social media what occurred at the meeting, saying "My motion was for two hour free parking on the streets, a discussion took place and it was decided that it would be reviewed in the new year because we were told some businesses were of the view that if someone was to park in front of their premises for that duration it could affect their trade" (emphasis added).
Many social media users questioned that businesses would be against 2-hour free parking. Some businesses commented, saying that they had not been asked by anyone and that they supported 2-hour free parking.
#March4Tipp hit the streets today and asked 95 businesses if they were for or against 2-hour free parking. 94 businesses said they were in favour of it, with only one shop being against it due to the nature of the business concerned. The 94 businesses that support 2-hour free parking entered their business details in a petition to that effect. This is a massive contradiction of the "information" apparently relied upon by the Council in not passing the motion for 2-hour free parking.
This brings into question the quality of information that the Council is willing to accept, without any actual evidence of what businesses want to happen. It appears that anecdotal, informal opinion is accepted as sufficient evidence on which to base serious decisions. Thousands of people have demanded 2-hour free parking, 94 businesses have now stated that they want it too, and a handful of people in a room, based on incorrect information have decided otherwise.
Local democracy is well and truly broken.
The group organising the #march4tipp are arranging a second march to take place next Saturday (24 November). The group has decided to change the route of the march to support the shops in the town. The march will now bring people into the centre of the town, rather than away from it.
- Joe McGrath, CEO of Tipperary County Council
Because of fears expressed by residents over loss of parking spaces on Davitt Street in the town, #march4tipp wrote twice to Joe McGrath, CEO of Tipperary County Council seeking clarity on the number of spaces to be lost. The same reply was received on both occasions. The same reply and set of drawings were also recently posted on social media by Councillor Michael Fitzgerald. The drawings issued by the Council and the Councillor appear to undo agreements previously reached with residents and have caused fresh fears that a large number of parking spaces are to be removed.
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