Make Up Of Shannon Airport Steering Groups Criticised By Mayor
The Mayor of Clare has expressed his “profound disappointment” that Clare County Council has not been included in the three groups established to oversee the restructuring of the newly independent Shannon International Airport and Shannon Development.
June 7, 2012 (FPRC) -- Mayor Pat Hayes said that while the Council welcomed the progress made in establishing the groups, details of which were announced by the Government this week, he noted that “it is unacceptable that Clare’s key management authority has been excluded from a process whereby the County’s primary infrastructure asset is being restructured”
The Mayor explained: “No local authority representative is on any of the three groups tasked with formulating a strategy for the restructuring of the airport and Shannon Development. While I welcome the fact that the Government has acted on Clare County Council’s request that the groups be established without delay, it is very concerning that no consideration appears to have been given to the inclusion of a representative from the Local Authority.”
“The Council has repeatedly stressed the critical requirement for its involvement in decisions which will determine the future of Shannon. It is difficult to see how the new entity that is being created will help to achieve strong regional development, when key policy makers such as Clare County Council, particularly in its role as Planning Authority for County Clare, are excluded from the restructuring process. The Council has spent a considerable amount of time and resources in formulating its County Development Plan, which includes special provisions for Shannon Airport and the surrounding lands, and on various submissions on the future structure for Shannon Airport.
“I would ask the Minister for Transport, Mr. Leo Varadkar, T.D., and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton, TD., to explain why they have not acceded to a written request for a meeting on the matter from the Council’s 32 Councillors, and why the decision was taken to not appoint a Council representative to either of the three groups,” added the Mayor.
Meanwhile, Mayor Hayes said he is “concerned” by the exclusion of any reference to Aer Rianta International in this week’s Government announcement.
“The proposed position regarding the retention of Aer Rianta International by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) does not appear to be included in the terms of reference of the Steering Group. This is troubling considering the group was established and nurtured in Shannon and contributes 30 million euro annually to the DAA. County Clare and the wider Region has every right to demand that it be shown a proper and adequate return on its investment in, and development of, a highly profitable enterprise,” stated the Mayor.
“This week’s announcement will do little to invoke confidence in the ability of the Steering Committee and its subgroups to provide a comprehensive, inclusive or workable plan for the restructuring of Shannon International Airport and Shannon Development,” the Mayor concluded.
Mayor Pat Hayes
Mark Dunphy, Dunphy PR
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