Rural Development SPC report from Anny Wise – 18th May 2021
The SPC meeting was a long one and in the end I did not get my chance to do the item on “Heating the Home.” . But I must admit I was surprised at the final outcome of what I did have to say.
Tourism Strategy was now complete and was launched on line and we were shown the outcome. It was very good. There were, however., two items which were discussed and approved.
- Motor Homes which have not been a problem in the past are now seen all over the county (staycation) – the normal commercial parks are closed and the county does not have a policy with regard to where and for how long they can park. There are several examples from CORK and abroad where they have always been a way of having a holiday. The County Council will be asked to look at the issues and try and see if they can make a policy or not.
- Greenways walking and cycling paths. Our SPC made suggestions on how important that this was now shown as specific plans in the future to enlarge them. It was pointed out that they are going ahead on this and the Clarecastle/Ennis and Shannon/Bunratty plus others are in the process.
The Rural Development Strategy is up for review – it was the first in Ireland and is still the only one. Broadband was again mentioned.
Then there was a powerpoint by Gearoid Fitzgibbon representing SEC for Clare with Gloria CLDC.
Report from the SPC on 18th May 2021 on Climate Change
There were many questions and the main thrust was on Community Microgeneration.
There was a question about the cost of peat briquettes going up and how community were able to cope with this. Geariod answer by given the example in Tipperary – who had most dwellings insulated and had changed their heating methods – so it would not cause them any problems. I followed after he answered the questions suggesting what we need more than anything was Public Awareness and the “How” and “Why”. I offered to give the talk which I was supposed to be at this meeting at the next meeting on the “Why” and also invited them to our lecture on the subject on the 26th May.
What follows was surprising and may have been to the question about peat blocks – suggestion of the Public Awareness showing such a low level of knowledge and upskilling of staff at the County Council took on the following:
- They would look at a Clare Energy Agency other than a Clare/Limerick one. A “One Stop Agency being a workshop in mind a stand alone office in Clare.
- Upskill directors of each section department – the actual elected Council so that they could work together and work with CLDC and SEAI.
Farmers were mentioned with regards to microgeneration the prospect of jobs in Rural Area was welcomed.