Regeneration of “Tourist Town Centres” needs to be taken seriously

7 01 2013

old diamond

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called for greater urgency to be shown by the Government and the Assembly Executive to help rescue ailing town centres in “tourist towns”.

Calling for an honest assessment Councillor Cunningham said “Small independent traders in towns like Ballycastle are buckling under the weight and pressures of soaring operational costs and ever increasing regulation and bureaucracy “

“If we are to prevent our town centres becoming ghost towns, we all need to work together to provide support; central Government and the Assembly Executive have fallen way short off the mark.”

“The state of the economy poses its own challenges to the independent retail sector as does the internet and the loss of critical footfall. Work is needed on areas such as business rents, rates, red tape, planning and even taxation”

“Solutions to these issues won’t be found without honest engagement across every level of government. Properly empowered, Local Government is best placed to take the lead on some of these issues, our knowledge of and commitment to the local community should allow us to provide a creative vision to providing local solutions which match the expectation of the community and the visitors we hope to attract”

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