AT Last week’s meeting of Nenagh Town Council Fine Gael’s Tom Moylan asked his fellow councillors to support a motion passed by Wexford Town Council which has called for a review of the process by which commercial rates are calculated and properties valued in urban areas.
Cllr Moylan highlighted the issue of O’Connor’s Shopping Centre which closed with the loss of 70 jobs to Nenagh.
“Businesses are really, really struggling and last week was a real wake up call for us,” Cllr Moylan said.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Tom Mulqueen said it was “sad to see the O’Connor family, after 60 years, going out of business” while Sinn Féin’s Seámus Morris agreed that “there should be a review of how rates are calculated”.
Referring specifically to the fact that rates payers contribute 54 per cent of the administration costs involved in running any given town council Cllr Morris said that there was “an imbalance in what business people have to pay to keep a town running”.
Cllr Morris also thanked the O’Connor family for their “commitment to the town and for the hundreds of jobs they created in Nenagh over the years”.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Jimmy Moran demanded a meeting with the Department of the Environment.
“We need to come up with a way of subsidising the rate payers of this country,” Cllr Moran said.
“We need to ask the Department of the Environment what they propose to do for the rate payers and for town councils all over the country.”
It was then agreed that Nenagh Town Council would write to the Department of the Environment and outline their concerns.
Fine Gael Councillor Conor Delaney also called on his fellow councillors at last week’s meeting of Nenagh Town Council to support a motion passed by Kilkee Town Council which has called on the Taoiseach to involve the respective town councils in any proposed reform of local government.