Dun Laoghaire town centre is dying on its feet. In August we saw two more businesses close down to add to the dozens that have closed over the last year. The council recently published the Dun Laoghaire Town Retail Report, which acknowledged the problems facing shops and businesses in the town, but it fails to address the issue of rates and parking in the town.

Scotland, France, Italy, and Spain all have a Differential Rate system that recognises the value of local businesses. People Before Profit proposes a system similar to that recently introduced in Scotland. Small business and shops can receive between 25% and 100% discount on rates with a maximum rebate set at €4100. Under this scheme 60% of small businesses have seen a fall or no rise in the business rate last year. This is the sort of support our local shops and business need.We also support the abolition of upward only rent leases.

Parking charges in Dun Laoghaire are too high, too restrictive and are enforced by “ticket happy” wardens. Derry City, for example, has reduced the hourly parking charge to 40p per hour in order to encourage people to shop locally. We believe this is the way forward. The Council should also rescind the decision to restrict parking by Residential Parking Permit holders to selected zones. There was a public consultation on parking that began in early summer. The council now needs to act in the interest of residents, shops and businesses.