A DEDICATED strategic policy committee for economic development, complete with its own specific director of services, is vital if future development in north Kerry is to have any chance.
That's according to Fine Gael councillor Jim Finucane, who warned this week that the government's recent decision to strip Shannon Development of its industry, enterprise and tourism responsibilities could mean many of north Kerry's primary assets could be transferred to the IDA, which he says has proved it has 'no confidence' in the county.
Cllr Finucane said that the downgrading of Shannon Development could see income from the landbank, lands and properties in Listowel and the Technology Park in Tralee be overtaken by the IDA. That, he says, would be ' totally unacceptable'.
Although conceding that it is his party calling the shots in this instance, he said the local authority had to take a stand before it is too late. These assets, he said, should be transferred to Kerry County Council.
"I want us to pre-empt this potential disaster and ensure the appointment of a dedicated strategic policy committee for economic development, with its own specific director of services," he said.
"If we are to provide any confidence to younger people we need to do this or we will be left with nothing. We have a right to demand that these assets are entrusted to us," he said.
Mayor of Kerry Kerry O'Brien seconded Cllr Finucane's motion and suggested that both councillors meet with county manager Tom Curran to discuss the best way to go forward.