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Councillor James Breen
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Ennis Chamber seeks rates meeting

Ennis Chamber is seeking an independently facilitated meeting with Clare County Council to discuss the issue of the increase in commercial rates passed in the recent annual budget meeting of the local authority, and the further proposed increase for next year.
This follows last week’s Day of Action by the Chamber when a large group of businesses gathered in the public gallery of Áras Contae an Chláir for the monthly meeting of Clare County Council to highlight their concerns about the rate changes.
Ennis Chamber submitted a letter to the meeting and following interjections from Councillors PJ Kelly and Ann Norton as well as a number of attempts by Councillor Johnny Flynn and an adjournment, the letter was accepted by the meeting with Cathaoirleach James Breen agreeing to put it to County CEO Tom Coughlan for consideration.
However according to a spokesperson for the business member organisation they are “concerned” that the local authority will “attempt to side step and only issue a report in response to the letter rather than engage in a meaningful process.”
Ennis Chamber is requesting the independently facilitated meeting comprising of its representatives along with street associations in the town with representatives of Clare County Council Councillors and Officials.
The letter submitted by Ennis Chamber sought the reversal of the of the decision to increase the Commercial Rate by 5.75% in 2016. Failing agreement on this, Ennis Chamber has asked Clare County Council to commit to working with them on three key topics. These include the revision and expansion of the proposed Commercial Rates Grant Incentive Scheme; the creation of 500 new car parking spaces and the reduction in unit cost to €1; and the creation of a Town Team for a pro jobs initiative to be funded through the ring-fencing of the full Commercial Rates increase.
The spokesperson concluded, “Ennis Chamber is seeking a resolution to the issue which has shocked and undermined the confidence of the local business community. The organisation believes that this can only be achieved through engagement and discussion in early January.”

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