Fine Gael TD for North Kildare, Anthony Lawlor, has welcomed the report by the Joint Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation which is aimed at rejuvenating town and villages by supporting small businesses.  The report ’Policy Options to Support Business Growth and Job Creation and Retention in Town and Village Centres’ was prepared by the Committee who held meetings with a wide range of stakeholders in preparing the report.

“As a member of the Jobs Committee, I am delighted that the report has been completed and I am confident that many of the recommendations will be implemented under the Action Plan for Jobs 2015.   The challenges faced by retailers, particularly in rural towns and village centres have long been highlighted as problematic.  The committee was very cognisant of this and were focused on addressing these issues to further our economic recovery”.

In all the report makes 15 recommendations with a view to improving business conditions, making town and village centres better places to visit and tackling crime and improving safety. As part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2015, the Retail Consultation Forum will review these recommendations and implement them where feasible, thereby addressing the challenges faced by retailers, shoppers and visitors to our towns and villages.

“I speak to small retailers in Kildare daily and I know the challenges they are facing. As the recovery takes hold, we need to focus on rejuvenating our towns and villages and create much needed employment. One issue I have been particularly vocal on is parking in town centres.  I feel a different approach needs to be taken by local authorities to parking so that our town centres become attractive once again for shoppers and visitors. I am delighted to see that this report makes a recommendation in this regard and I am hopeful that the 15 recommendations in the report can be implemented without delay so that new life can be breathed into our towns and villages and the recovery can be felt by all.”