Many towns and villages thrived throughout the pandemic with people working from home and embedding themselves in their local communities. Many others, however, were not so lucky. Labour has developed a vision for towns and villages throughout Ireland for thriving local economies post-pandemic.
Anchored in local democracy, our proposals are structured around four key themes: optimising town development and growth, supporting business, retailers and enterprise in our towns, incentivising central, sustainable and green development and making towns more attractive and inclusive places to live.
The results of our national consultation, conducted in April 2021, brought to the fore the passion and pride that people have for their local community and their hopes for a prosperous community into the future. However, there are challenges that must be tackled head on.
Ireland’s towns and villages do not have enough supports for people – and particularly young people – to succeed in enterprise. 61% of people believe that there are not enough supports in their town or village to start up a new business, while an overwhelming 70% believe that it is not easy for young people to start a business. Locals deserve real opportunities to grow and succeed.
In recent years there has been no shortage of plans, strategies, and proposals from government but what has been lacking is an urgency of implementation. The pandemic has changed our lives and our perspectives, and there can be no going back to the way things were. Over the months ahead the Labour Party will continue to engage with local communities and campaign for the solutions and real change needed to transform our towns and villages.