Clontarf Business Association - Submission to Election Candidates

22 Feb 2016

General Election 2016 – Dublin Bay North

The CBA have sent the letter below to all candidates in the upcoming general election:

Dear General Election Candidate,

Clontarf Business Association, (CBA) represents the collective voice of business based in the greater Clontarf area. On behalf of our members we are writing to alert you all to the issues and hopes as expressed by our members. The issues are in no particular order.

  • There is frustration with what can be only described as “a convenient game of cat and mouse” between our Teachtaí Dála (Deputies), City Councillors and the Dublin City Council.
  • PRSI benefits in the case of sickness or unemployment for the self-employed
  • Greater crime reduction – having non – Garda administration staff managing the administration tasks in lieu of trained Garda personnel thereby releasing more time for security and crime prevention
  • Business Grants – should be allocated by project rather than company
  • Innovation Grants are too restricted (with Enterprise Ireland it is restricted to 3 @ €5k). These could be used for one project.
  • Currently where a company needs additional assistance where the market might have changed (cloud computing, digital etc.), the only way to get the grant is to form a new company.
  • More support needed for companies transitioning to survive – rather than following the path of closure and job losses
  • Over regulation generally - e.g. last year the catering / food industry had allergens legislation, before that it was brown waste legislation, next year it will be calories on menus - every time someone gets an idea about what would make the world a better place they just press a button and businesses have to cover the cost. 
  • Local Property Tax - instead of lowering commercial rates at the first opportunity DCC lowered the LPT. This was not a good decision for business.
  • Keeping VAT at 9% for certain service industries has been key to the recovery and job creation.
  • Excise duty on wine is too high - highest in the E.U.
  • Shortage of trained staff in the hospitality sector - shortage of chefs. As regards front of house staff, we need to train extensively yet for most employees these frontline positions are temporary or transitional jobs.
  • The Clontarf Road is in a disgraceful condition and is making Clontarf a less desirable location to do business in.
  • The traffic management is a serious problem. Long traffic jams scare people away from our busy commercial locations and encourage motorists to use "rat runs" down residential areas. More traffic on these residential roads cause further difficulties, be it congestion or risk of accident.
  • Allied with the traffic management there is frustration with the imposition of a 12 hour bus lane on the Clontarf Road. The current situation of having a road we cannot use for much of the day, while it lies empty, is simply not satisfactory. The Automobile Association's recent call for bus lanes to be used by cars with four passengers should be supported. CBA actually considers three passengers would be sufficient.

Clontarf Business Association is seeking commitment from Dublin Bay North General Election Candidates to work with and for the Clontarf Business Community in dealing with the above issues. Clontarf Business Association will advise members of the responses and commitments received following the issue of this letter.

Yours faithfully,

Karen Burrows


February 2016