Monday 14 October 2019

Cultural Quarter concerns

Cllr Joe Newman (NP)
Cllr Joe Newman (NP)

John Manning

A Swords councillor has expressed concerns over the future of the Swords Cultural Quarter project with a change at the top of Fingal County Council around the corner.

The chief executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid, who has driven the ambitious project will leave the council in May and Cllr Joe Newman is anxious that his successor pursues the project with the same focus.

While councillor Newman wished the departing chief executive well in his new job as Director General of the HSE, he warned that a change of leadership at the head of the County Council 'brought many risks'.

He said: 'The new CEO may well have a different view and priorities for the town of Swords. Swords Castle and the Cultural Quarter may not be on the top of the new CE's list of things to do.

'We can see what happened to the Metro Project when Fine Gael took power from Fianna Fáil, the Metro project was kicked down the tracks for a decade and we still await its commencement.

'I can assure the people of Swords that I will be fighting to keep the focus of the new CE directly on the projects that have been promised and those that are being started. '

Cllr Newman said: 'I will fully support the officials that have worked diligently on the planning preparation over recent years to progress these amenities to completion.

'It would be a terrible scandal if the Swords Castle and Cultural Quarter projects were in any way postponed or delayed.

'I will not tolerate any changes or delays that will put at risk plans to deliver a theatre as part of the Swords Cultural Quarter Project.

'Fingal County Council has invested serious amount of time and public money into these projects so it is important that these efforts and money are not wasted.'

Cllr Newman concluded: 'It will take a determined group of public representatives to keep these projects on track.'

Fingal Independent