Cork North Central Workers' Party candidate Ted Tynan has called for the holding of local referendums where significant local projects are proposed which contravene the existing city or county development plans.
Mr. Tynan said that development in this country was overwhelmingly profit-driven and often conflicted with the public interests and with city and county development plans which were drawn up only a short time earlier with widespread public consultation.
He stated that local authorities and the government had a far too close relationship with big business which often saw the public’s needs and rights set aside in the name of so-called development. As an example he referred to a local green space and playing field at Tinker’s Cross in Mayfield which was given in trust to the local community many years ago but has recently been targeted by
Cork city management, firstly as a proposed park-and-ride site and lately as an intended waste processing centre.
“This is merely one example of the immense pressure that has come on a community to yield up a vital amenity for some alleged greater purpose driven by the private sector and in this case the City Manager deviously placed a small advert in the local newspapers three days before last Christmas announcing that the field was to be seized from the community for a waste centre which in effect is a glorified dump”, said Ted Tynan
“Where projects such as this alter the city or county development plan it is simply not good enough to allow the City Council rubber stamp the proposal, especially given the recent scrutiny in the tribunals of the role of councillors and officials in different parts of the country engaging in corrupt planning practices. Instead what is required is full public consultation by means of a referendum in the local electoral area where the change of the development plan is proposed. This would allow for democratic debate and consideration of the proposal and would protect vulnerable communities”, Mr. Tynan said.