Window of opportunity for task force to deliver for North Inner City
Following the visit of the Taoiseach and some of his Cabinet Minsters to the North Inner City last week, the Taoiseach has invited public representatives to meet him in Government Buildings tomorrow, Monday 20 June 2016.
It would be churlish not to welcome the Taoiseach’s visit and to accept in good faith his personal commitment to take up the challenge of the enormous difficulties facing the North Inner City which were highlighted in recent months by the spate of mafia-style killings in the area.
At the meeting tomorrow, I will ask the Taoiseach to spell out the framework for his promised Task Force, its terms of reference, its timescale for delivery and its resources.
Secondly, I will urge him to appoint a Minister with access to Cabinet to lead the Task Force. Parallels with the Drugs Task Force established in 1997 demonstrate that the imperative to achieve results requires a seat at cabinet.
Thirdly as Labour Party Spokesperson for Urban Regeneration, I will highlight the failure over thirty years of urban renewal on the Docklands to provide any level of training, employment or structural and environmental improvement for the area.
Only an integrated development which incorporates the strengths of the community and the new opportunities being created in the hinterland can lift the entire area.
A new phase of development is now underway on the Dublin Docklands. NAMA is leading this development with substantial investment. It is expected to create 23,000 jobs over the next 10 – 15 year period in construction and downstream employment. There is a window of opportunity that can contribute enormously to a balanced social and economic regeneration of the North Inner City, if the necessary steps are taken immediately to engage with the local community and local stakeholders.