Councillor Derek Mitchell (FG),
Member Wicklow County Council,
C/o Kiltoorish, Manor Avenue, Greystones, Co. Wicklow.
Phone/Fax 01-2874115(H), 087-2574969,
15th April, 2013
Mr Fiachra Etchingham,
As explained to you my priorities, which I have informed Sispar in relation to the annual review, are:
- Get the marina properly open.
- Start the Health Centre.
- Get the boatyard and Coastguard going
- Do something better with the closed section of the Public Square including planning to open it to the public.
- Open the North Pier or get some explanation of the problems and solutions.
- Do something for ‘local fishermen’
- Improve the vegetation if it does not grow better this Summer.
I am not in favour of making the Club, boatyard and coastguard areas public as this will make it more difficult to complete these facilities. I would be happy to see some reasonable marine related use of the areas by temporary licence with proper insurance etc.
You suggest that the PPP contract is not properly constructed. As explained to you it is the only, or one of the few, which has cost the taxpayer nothing, has got €70m of public infrastructure and fundamentally improved the offering of this town. Other PPPs which you referred to have all cost the taxpayer a lot and in most cases, such as roads or schools, are of no value unless complete. Ours is very useful even though it is not complete. You led the campaign which didn’t want any or less apartments and where many were concerned that the apartments would be built but not the harbour. The contract conditions were drafted to ensure this did not happen.
Your whole emphasis on legal matters and threats of legal action is neither the way forward nor how progress has been maintained in spite of the economic climate. Your public emphasis on criticising the condition of the area results in people talking down what is the 4th or 5th best leisure harbour in the country and a major achievement. We need to boost the image of the town and its harbour to encourage tourism and activity. Compared to other areas such as North of Bray, Wicklow and Dun Laoghaire Harbours it is not too bad and will get better unlike the other areas. Previously much of the area was a dump with rusting containers.
Finally I have to say that this project would have been well finished by now but for the delays caused by your campaign against it. It is incredible that you can be complaining about the delay!