The Chairman of Roscrea’s Community Development Council (RCDC) in complimenting Roscrea Tidy Towns’ and its volunteers for the enormous efforts which they’ve made in improving the town and its presentation says that the “sustainability of the Tidy Towns’ efforts lies with Roscrea People.” He suggests that without the community as a whole empowering itself to take ownership of each of the respective areas of the town it is not humanly possible for the Tidy Towns’ efforts to reach completion and to be sustainable into the future. Mr Lupton says that RCDC will meet in September with its primary objective to develop street and area associations. Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.
Mr. Lupton says that Roscrea can win the National overall Tidy Towns’ award but he says “with due respect to the Tidy Town’s committee, they will never be able to do it unless the people of the town collectively has that vision, believes in it, takes responsibility for it and believes it is within the power of the community to achieve. It is not something which would be merely ‘nice to achieve’ but something, I would suggest, which ‘we need to achieve’. Unless we, the people of Roscrea empower ourselves to a greater extent, as a town we will be left behind. With the draft changes to the constituency and the amalgamation of the county councils, if we do not exercise collective assertiveness we will be marginalised even to a greater extent than we heretofore might have imagined could happen.”
The RCDC Chairman insists that if the concept of community empowerment, taking ownership and working together is to remain merely a concept it will always be aspirational and progress will never be made. Mr Lupton urges that a strategic “vehicle” be set up to facilitate the town going from where it is to where it wants to be. This “vehicle”, he suggests are active area associations who have their own vision for their own area and from that their own objectives, the achievement of which brings about the collective vision for the town. He has given a commitment that RCDC will do all it can to bring this about. He is also urging Roscrea Chamber to consider setting up, by way of a sub-committee of the Chamber, a traders’ committee to protect, maintain and develop the “town centre”. “While Roscrea did not get much sun in the summer of 2012, we did get signposts! Those signposts remind us that we indeed have a “town centre”. However, our ‘Town Centre’ has been massively eroded over recent years and many businesses have been decimated. An innovative traders’ committee is, I believe, essential.”
Roscrea has very significant Heritage sites which have enormous tourist potential but this potential is largely unrealised. These sites are in the hands of the OPW. “We must thank the State for its restoration work carried out through the OPW, I do not believe that the OPW is fit for purpose in so far as that purpose is optimizing the potential tourist benefit of these sites to the community. I would like to see the government reviewing the role of the OPW and ensuring greater community ownership of heritage sites in conjunction with county councils and also of course ensuring a realignment of budgets for the funding of these sites.”
The RCDC Chairman says that as a town if we are to get out of recession we must realise the town’s potential. “There is no point in having a potential tourism product, which effectively lies dormant or relatively so. Likewise we cannot afford to have a town which is not presented to its optimum and necessary enhancement works not carried out. We have recently, through the offices of the county council seen the setting up of an ‘Enhancement Committee’ which will be holding work shops shortly. This initiative gives us a huge opportunity to develop our town environmentally but unless the plan to be formulated therefrom is the town’s plan belonging to the people, it won’t work, so let us take ownership and make it work,” added RCTLC Chairman John Lupton.