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Tag Archives: Tom Coughlan

No rates reprieve as Budget adopted

Businesses will not benefit from any commercial cut in rates next year, ahead of the new equalisation process in 2016. Clare’s 2015 Draft Budget was passed at a meeting on Wednesday by 23 votes to three. It was opposed by Fine Gael Councillor Johnny Flynn and Independent Councillors Ian Lynch and James Breen. The new Annual Rate of Valuation (ARV) was set at €72.99, which is the existing county commercial rate. This proposal was passed by 23 votes to two, following opposition from Councillors Flynn and Lynch, with one abstention. Following this decision, it seems as if commercial rates in Ennis and Kilrush will have to increase from €65.45 and €61.93, respectively, up to the €72.99 over a five-year period, starting in 2016. Councillor Johnny Flynn argued there should be plenty of scope to reduce the county commercial rate down to the Ennis rate, considering up to €1 million should have been saved in increased efficiencies, following the abolition of …

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Estuary land zoning builds ‘investor confidence’

Clare County Council says the zoning of more than 345 hectares of land along the Shannon Estuary will give ‘greater investor confidence’ for anyone considering large-scale marine related development proposals. Earlier this week the council’s elected members unanimously backed the move to incorporate the zoned lands into the Clare County Development Plan 2011-17 along with the Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) for the Shannon Estuary, a major strategic plan for the future development and management of marine-related industry and tourism along Ireland’s largest estuary. The newly zoned lands relate to Strategic Development Locations (SDL) at Cahercon and Moneypoint where existing pier facilities and deep estuarial water provide potential for maritime industry investment. Clare County Council says it would welcome any opportunity to discuss suitable development proposals for the locations. A new working group has also been established to promote and market the sites and wider Estuary as a key investment location. Led by Clare County Council, the group also comprises …

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Department of Environment to deal with storm costs

Clare County Council has received confirmation that recoupment of costs incurred by the council during its response to a series of damaging storms during the period  January 27  to  February 17 last will now be dealt with by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. The Council said that it incurred costs totalling €779,870 in its response to the severe weather and the clean-up works and necessary immediate works carried out during the period. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, John Crowe said, “My colleagues and I have relentlessly pursued recoupment of these costs and I am delighted that the department is now in a position to recoup these costs to the Council. We will continue to progress the programmes necessary to deal with the effects of the storms on communities particularly along the western seaboard.” Clare County Council chief executive, Tom Coughlan confirmed that the local authority “will now proceed to submit a claim as requested by the …

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Councillors vote for 15% reduction in property tax

CLARE  county councillors have voted to slash the Local Property Tax (LPT) by 15% following a special meeting of theb local authority on Friday morning. An alliance of Fianna Fáil councillors and some members of the so-called Technical Group ensured the maximum reduction will be passed on to property owners in Clare next January after it was passed by 17 votes to ten. The reduction, which prompted some heated exchanges during the meeting, was supported by 11 Fianna Fáil councillors, Sinn Féin Councillor Mike McKee as well as Independents Gerry Flynn, James Breen, Ann Norton, Michael Begley and P J Ryan. Two members of the Technical Group – long serving Independent councillor Christy Curtin and Ian Lynch broke ranks by opting to oppose the cut with eight Fine Gael councillors. The council’s chief executive, Tom Coughlan told councillors in a report on the “Local Property Tax Local Adjustment Factor” a sum of €1.56 million would be available for additional services …

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Cut to property tax shelved on legal advice

Clare Fianna Fáil councillors are up in arms over the distribution of the Local Property Tax (LPT), following claims that €5.6 million will be used to “bail out” other “inefficient” local authorities. Councillors have criticised the transfer of over €2m from Clare County Council’s 2015 LPT allocation of €10.406m to the national equalisation fund, which, in turn, will be distributed to local authorities who don’t have a high yield from this tax. The council was urged by Councillor Cathal Crowe to consider taking a legal challenge against the proposed redistribution of another €3.597m, to self-fund local housing and roads services, at a meeting this week. Councillor Crowe felt it was important the council took a stand if the Government continue to implement its proposed “unfair distribution”, which he claimed penalises the council for being “the best in the class”, while other authorities had adopted a more “casual approach”. The political row over where the proceeds of the LPT will be …

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Council defers decision on 15% property tax cut

CLARE County Councillors have deferred a decision on a contentious proposed 15% cut on property tax for householders in the county until later this month, following legal advice. Fianna Fáil Councillors Tom McNamara and Richard Nagle proposed the council should take a decision to implement this cut at a meeting on Monday evening to give a much needed break to Clare people who are being crippled by austerity tax hikes. However, chief executive officer, Tom Coughlan informed members the authority had obtained legal advice that it couldn’t take a decision at the meeting. Councillor James Breen (Ind) asked Mr Coughlan if councillors decided at the meeting to vary the rate of property tax, would he implement this decision. Mr Coughlan replied he had a legal duty to implement any decision taken by councillors, once it was taken in accordance with the law. However, he stressed he couldn’t implement any decision taken at last Monday’s meeting because it wouldn’t meet legal …

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Minister launches LEO Clare

MINISTER of State for Small Business, John Perry TD,  officially launched the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Clare at Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis. Combining the resources of the Clare County Enterprise Board and Clare County Council’s business support unit, the Clare Local Enterprise Office (LEO) is one of 31 LEOs around Ireland that is tasked with delivering services and support to businesses within a framework set by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and overseen by Enterprise Ireland. Minister Perry was joined at today’s launch by the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Councillor  John Crowe who described Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as  “the lifeblood of local communities” throughout County Clare. The Cathaoirleach explained: “Jobs created by the SME sector help to keep employment levels up and emigration levels down which is key to rural communities surviving the economic downturn. LEO Clare offers small business owners the opportunity to learn from the experiences and expertise of others in …

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Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins

Hopes that LEO will bring lion’s share of jobs

A NEW service for supporting Clare businesses has become operational in Ennis this week with hopes high that it will “harness innovation, grow businesses and create jobs locally.” The new Clare Local Enterprise Office (LEO) is based at Clare County Council’s headquarters, Áras Contae an Chláir and represents a major restructuring of state support for businesses which was previously delivered by county and city enterprise boards. Combining the resources of the Clare County Enterprise Board and Clare County Council’s business support unit, the Clare LEO is one of 31 LEOs around Ireland that is tasked with delivering services and support to businesses within a framework set by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and overseen by Enterprise Ireland. Mayor of Clare Councillor Joe Arkins said the Clare LEO will act as a “first-stop-shop” for small businesses throughout the county. He added, “I look forward to the newly operational LEO playing a leading role in stimulating enterprise development in Clare. …

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