Last week councillors from Louth and Monaghan attended a meeting of the Border Regional Authority, addressed by TD John Perry, in relation to the Action Plan for Jobs 2012
COUNCILLORS from Louth and Monaghan joined their colleagues from the four other border counties in a strong plea to a government minister last week for urgent positive measures to create more jobs in the region.
The councillors were attending a meeting of the Border Regional Authority, which covers Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Sligo, Leitrim, and Donegal.
The meeting was addressed by Mr. John Perry, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation who would address the members in relation to the Action Plan for Jobs, 2012.
Caroline Brady, Director of the Authority, recalled the main aim of the plan was to get the economy back on track and create an environment where enterprise could grow and develop which would create jobs and allow for better competition internationally.
Minister Perry told the meeting that in the three years prior to the Government coming into office, over 300,000 jobs were lost. The unemployment rate was 14.1% in March 2011, compared with a rate of 4.9% in March 2008. And more than 50% of those unemployed were out of work for a year or more. Behind every one of those job losses are families and businesses struggling to cope with the impact of the recession.
In relation to getting people back to work, the Minister said they had taken a number of steps over the last year.
“The Government launched a Jobs Initiative in May 2011, and this was followed in 2012 by a two-strand approach involving the Action Plan for Jobs and Pathways to Work”
In a major discussion which followed the Louth representatives supported a variety of issues raised including the issue Section 254 Licences to local authorities.
It was suggested that each authority be allowed to set their own prices and pointed out to Minister Perry that Dundalk had already written to the Minister requesting that they be allowed set their own rate as the standard rate is too high for smaller towns in the Border Region.
Louth delegates also claimed there was a greater need to protect the Border Region and generate employment.
An earlier proposal by Councillor Finan McCoy (Ardee) for a change of the Regional Authority meeting dates, was deferred until a further meeting.