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Rates collection falls below acceptable level

RATE payers in the town have been urged to pay up if they can, amid warnings a reduction in the amount of money collected next year by Ennis Town Council could result in a cut in services. At this week’s annual budget meeting of Ennis Town Council, it emerged that 60% of commercial rates were collected last year. Councillors were told between 85% and 90% of rates would need to be collected in 2012 for the council to balance its budget.At the meeting it was agreed, amongst other measures, to maintain parking charges at their current level of €1.30 and commercial rates at the level adopted in 2009 of €65.45.Town manager Ger Dollard described this year’s budget as “difficult” adding “we have made choices we think are right for Ennis and the future”.He said the local authority is “hugely conscious of the issues out there and the issues facing the commercial sector and the need to support economic activity and …

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Roads funding reduced by €40,000

ENNIS Town Council’s funding for the roads programme for next year has been cut to €175,000 from last year’s figure of €215,000 according to the local authority’s budget for 2012. However, the council will be making “significant investment” in the inner relief road in 2012, with construction expected to begin in February or March of next year.Outlining Ennis Town Council’s budget for 2012, town manager Ger Dollard explained, “Some difficulties were experienced during 2011 in the funding arrangements for the final section of the inner relief road. These arose from the limits placed on borrowing by the local authority sector and wider limits placed on the Government as part of overall financial agreements”.“These difficulties were resolved and the council is now in a position to proceed to construction for this section of road,” he added.Tenders have been invited and it is expected work will begin in February or March, he said. “The redevelopment of the Madden’s Furniture premises has now …

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Allowing retail centre akin to welcoming factory ship

FRESH opposition has been expressed to plans for a proposed retail development on the outskirts of Ennis. A recent submission prepared for Ennis Chamber and submitted to the planning authority insists, “If one wanted to design a retail development which was likely to bring no benefit whatever to the town centre it would be hard to find a better way of doing it than what is being proposed.”The developers behind the proposal have made a number of changes to the original plans following a request for further information from the planning authority Ennis Town Council.This further information was deemed to be significant by the planning authority and the applicant Michael Lynch Ltd was requested to publish a public notice. Submissions in relation to the further information have now been received by Ennis Town Council from a number of parties, including residents groups, business organisations and local businesses. Among the revisions made to the plans for the site on the Limerick …

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Support growing for mandatory equality training proposal

AN Ennis councillor’s proposal that the Government provide for all local representatives to have mandatory equality and anti-discrimination training has received growing support from a number of organisations. A recent meeting of Ennis Town Council voted against the proposal by Councillor Paul O’Shea. However, as well as receiving support from the Clare Intercultural Network, the proposal has also now been backed by Labour and Travellers’ representatives, Pavee Point.Labour’s Intercultural Group have pledged their support for Councillor O’Shea’s proposal that all public representatives should receive three hours of equality training. “Labour Intercultural Group supports the motion put to Ennis Town Council by Councillor O’Shea to introduce training in equality, anti-discrimination and racism for all public representatives. It is regrettable the council voted down the proposal. It is also regrettable that some councillors voted the proposal down on the grounds that ‘they don’t need training’,” commented Karen McCormack and JM Singh, co-chairs of the Labour Intercultural Group. “Most public representatives have a …

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Jim’s lightshow lives on

THE Christmas spirit of the late Jim O’Driscoll will live on this week, as his family carry on his tradition of lighting up their home in Elm Park to raise money for charity.Jim’s home became synonymous with the Christmas season for more than 10 years, with people coming from all over the county to witness his home decorated with more than 10,000 individual lights and a host of other decorations.He would spend months preparing his home to become a winter wonderland, inviting both the young and young at heart to come along and join in the festive fun. Over the years, he has raised money for charities such as Crumlin Children’s Hospital, Cahercalla Hospice and the Clare Sunset Foundation.Although Jim passed away in March of this year from complications of type 2 diabetes, his family are determined that his last wish to light the lights one last time to raise funds for Diabetes Ireland will come true.On Thursday, the lights …

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