Press Statement 13th May 2020
Transformative COVID-19 Limerick Recovery Action Plan must be a Priority – O’Donnell
- Deputy O’Donnell believes Limerick City & County Council are best placed to lead and co-ordinate this Recovery Action Plan Taskforce
- 10 Point Priority Action Plan – a new Model for a new Normal to navigate a safe pathway for the re-opening of businesses and society in Limerick
Limerick Fine Gael TD, Kieran O’Donnell believes that the development of a transformative Covid-19 Limerick Recovery Action Plan has to be prioritised and implemented quickly, involving the setting up of a Taskforce by Limerick City & County Council. Deputy O’Donnell has prepared a 10 Point Covid-19 Action Plan to inform this process. This recovery action plan is about creating a new model for a new normal and involves navigating a safe pathway for the re-opening of businesses and society here with employees returning to work.
Limerick has currently over 38,000 people who are on the COVID-19 pandemic payment(21,900 persons) and Temporary Wage subsidy scheme(16,270 persons involving 1,650 employers, which is approximately 28% of Limerick employers).
“In a Covid-19 dominated world, and within the limits as set down under public health safety, we must take the challenge head-on of looking at the best ways of getting businesses here in Limerick re-opened and people back into employment. With this in mind, I have been carrying out public consultations with my “Rebooting our Economy & Recovery for Business from Covid-19” initiative to inform government strategy. I have engaged extensively with local businesses and representatives bodies on the best pathway to recovery from Covid-19 as we adjust to the “new normal” of living and doing business. Whilst very supportive of the public health measures taken to combat Covid-19, businesses are now keen to re-open with their employees. Each sector has its own challenges which must be adapted to, but we must create the environment for Limerick City and County to prosper.
“Following my public consultation with businesses together with the recent publication of the government’s two key documents; “A roadmap for re-opening society & business” and “a return to work safely protocol, I am of the firm view that Limerick must be pro-active in preparing and implementing its own specific transformative recovery action plan, with clearly defined goals and timeframe. As Limerick City & County Council, has already led the way nationally with the “Limerick Covid-19 Community Response ” initiative, I believe that they are best placed to lead and co-ordinate a “Covid-19 Limerick Recovery Action Plan”. To this end, I have written to Limerick City & County Council Chief Executive, Pat Daly and Mayor Cllr. Michael Sheahan (See Note to Editors below) asking that the Council establish a Taskforce for this purpose to include all relevant Stakeholders and I look forward to having discussions with them on progressing this proposal.
“I have prepared a 10 point action plan to inform this vital process. These are a just a number of key areas which should form part of the Covid-19 Limerick Recovery Action Plan.
“The important thing is that we begin the recovery process now in a strategic, transformative and collaborative way, whilst at all times being fully aware of public health safety requirements with Covid-19.
10 Point Covid-19 Limerick Recovery Action Plan; areas to be given priority by the Recovery Taskforce:-
- One-Stop-Shop for businesses & organisations to answer any queries in relation to operating in a Covid-19 environment, including, public health and social distancing requirements & business supports.
- Extensive Public consultation with businesses and organisations across the city, environs, towns, villages and rural areas to drive the recovery.
- Assessing Remote Working Options, including looking at broadband coverage and quality
- Preparing Individual specific City, Town, Environs Villages, Rural Areas and Sectors Recovery Plans
- Maximise the availability of Funding supports at National & European Level to invest in our recovery
- Provision of additional areas to accommodate Pedestrians and cyclists & Riverfront enhancements – in consultation with local businesses, carry out a detailed review of all streets layouts and traffic management in the city centre, environs, towns & villages to provide for optimum use under the new “normal” of social distancing, including making more spaces for customer seating. Improving our Streetscapes & Public Spaces, cleaning, greening. Exploring ways to use public space for the performing arts
- Public Awareness “Confidence Building” campaign on the Covid-19 health safety measures implemented here locally(including around mental health), with public health protocols provided
- Renewed Marketing Initiative at local and national level to promote Limerick business and Tourism
- Public transport/walking/cycling Initiatives– engaging with the National Transport Authority on public transport management. Review of the Limerick Coca Cola Zero Bike Scheme. Incentivising cycling for kids– “Bike to School Scheme”. Plan for cycle lanes from home-to-school. Further linking the city with the suburbs, creating green routes
- COVID-19 Proofing of existing and future development & transportation plans for Limerick – do they meet the needs of a new model for a new normal and are they ambitious enough?
“This recovery action plan is about creating a new model for a new normal and involves navigating a safe pathway for the re-opening of businesses and society here with employees returning to work. Preparing a clearly defined action plan has to be the first step on the road to recovery. Furthermore, this must be accompanied by a public awareness “confidence building” campaign on the covid-19 safety measures implemented here locally(including around mental health), with public health protocols provided.
“These Stakeholders should involve amongst others, the business, tourism, arts, community, schools and sporting sectors as well as their representative bodies in the city, towns and villages. Also included should be relevant public bodies and agencies like, Limerick Enterprise Office, Limerick Chambers of Commerce, Tourism bodies, HSE, UHL Group, an Garda Siochana, third level institutions, Shannon Group, Shannon Foynes Port Company and the National Transport Authority.