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Will meters measure up to freezing conditions?

ODDS on a white Christmas have been slashed and after a very cold winter to date, concerns have been expressed about the quality of water meters and the possibility of further damage being caused by freezing conditions.At this week’s meeting of Shannon area councillors, Councillor Patricia McCarthy put down a motion asking “the owners of all housing developments not taken in charge be contacted to establish (a) if they have correctly installed the water metres and (B) carried out remedial works where problems have been identified”.Also at meeting a letter was presented claiming the materials that the local authority puts in place itself are in order. The communication from the council’s water services engineer stated, “The meter box/stopcock systems Clare County Council have been installing in the Shannon Electoral Area are Talbot Matrix boxes. These comply with current standards, part of which requires that the device can withstand a temperature of minus 15 degrees centigrade for 15 days. “These devices …

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Manouvering safely at roundabouts

Concerns about the safety of roundabouts in the town were expressed at this week’s meeting of Shannon area county councillors.Councillor Patricia McCarthy put down a motion asking that the roundabout at the comprehensive school be replaced by traffic lights.In a written response, area engineer Eugene O’Shea stated, “I will request the road design office to examine whether any possible improvements, including the provision of traffic lights, can be made at the junction.”Councillor McCarthy said it was time for an improvement to be made. “There have been some serious accidents and it’s time we looked at it and replaced it.”Councillor Gerry Flynn said there had been “loads of accidents” at the site in question, which he said made safety improvements necessary. He said that his sister lives by the roundabout and that a woman had died in an accident there some years back. The idea of installing traffic lights was supported by Councillor PJ Ryan, who said that at one time …

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Chamber’s mixed reaction to bailout

The most disappointing aspect to the €85 billion bailout for Ireland, agreed over the weekend, was that there was, in fact, no bailout, according to Shannon Chamber.The chamber’s reaction to the bailout announcement, like its reaction to the National Recovery Plan, continues to be mixed, chamber director Ian Barrett said. The chamber did, however, welcome the retention of the 12.5% corporation tax, he added.Accepting that funds have been secured for the Irish banking system and to fund Irish Government borrowing requirements over the next few years and that €17.5bn of this funding is to come from the National Pension Fund, Shannon Chamber is concerned about the split of the interest rates between the various fund elements. “It was indicated that if all the funds were immediately drawn down, the composite rate of interest would be 5.8%. What is worrying is that these rates are variable and it is not clear to what extent they will rise as future ECB interest …

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Tax changes welcomed

SHANNON Chamber has welcomed a broadening of the tax base in the Government’s four-year plan and the decision not to raise corporate tax but has criticised the preservation of the Croke Park Agreement. “In broad terms, the chamber welcomes the focusing of having €2 in expenditure savings for each €1 in tax increases, albeit preferring a model of €3 expenditure savings for each €1 in tax increases,” said chamber president Ian Barrett.“Foreign Direct Investment plays a key role in job creation in Ireland, both directly and indirectly, in downstream support activities and services. In this regard, we see the commitment to the 12.5% corporation tax rate as being critical to attracting new investment into the country and equally in sustaining existing jobs,” he added.However, he said there here elements of the plan the chamber didn’t agree with. “Our two largest areas of concern are in addressing the structural imbalances in our public finances and whether there is enough in the …

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Importance of St Vincent de Paul on the increase

THE number of people being supported by St Vincent De Paul in Shannon has dramatically increased and the organisation will be having its annual collection this Thursday and Friday.Des McDonnell is treasurer of the local branch of St Vincent De Paul and he said that many people are now in need of support. “We wouldn’t have all the sums done yet but I’d say we’ve had between 30 and 50% more call-outs. We are getting calls from new clients every other night. We’ve always had a few core people that we would have helped a few times a year but now we have people coming who we’ve never had before.”He said that there can be different reasons why people fall into serious financial difficulties. “People can become unemployed, marriages can break up. It would be more common now for a woman to be left with two or three kids and not have support from a partner. We would see ourselves …

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