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Dublin 21st Century business plan

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Irish Business News Discussion:     Dublin 21st Century business plan

The Irish Business and Employers federation (IBEC) have published their vision of Dublin in the 21st century.
The organisation says, despite the economic boom, the capital still struggles to compete with other world cities due to problems with transport, housing, waste management and local government.
IBECís Greater Dublin Regional President, Greg Timmons, said: "the future of Dublin as a sustainable world class international capital will depend on the availability of a critical mass of suitably qualified talent, supporting infrastructure in roads, ports, health, education, housing and telecommunications which are aligned with sophisticated business services. These are the hallmarks of successful cities and regions and must become the benchmarks against which Dublin is measured.
'The Greater Dublin Region must now distinguish itself for the quality of its regional capabilities, its innovative approach, its creativity and integrated approach to policy issues. The infrastructure needs are crystal clear to all: better transportation, including a metro; better roads and an airport capable of handling the number of passengers using it. The lack of coherent planning has delayed a number of crucial infrastructure projects. In future, it is crucial that vital infrastructure projects are fast tracked by fully exploiting the Strategic Infrastructure Act 2007.'
Mr Timmons added: 'IBECís vision for Dublin sets out a clear method for identifying and managing infrastructure projects: we appeal to Government to take note. There is a need for stronger leadership in the region and city: Dublin must learn from New York and London, which have tackled head on some of the big problems facing their cities. ' In order for our capital to grow as a leading European commercial centre, it is essential for Dublin to be a place where knowledge workers will want to and are encouraged to live and work. This demands excellent transportation and a world class road system; not more congestion or two-hour journeys to work. We need the best healthcare that money can buy; safe, crime- free streets, policed by a world-class police force. Our children need to grow up in well designed housing, with ample green space in which to play and learn, with access to quality childcare facilities.'
'These are realisable goals and well within our grasp if we all - business, Government and the community- work together determined to achieve them for us all.'
Mr Timmons concluded, 'It is vital that Dublin embraces all the challenges whether they are economic, social, cultural or political. The CSO estimates close to 9% of the workforce are non-Irish workers. We must embrace cultural diversity and learn from new migrants coming to our region and ensure that foreign nationals are integrated into mainstream society. This generation of foreign nationals should be encouraged to become the next generation of home buyers. '

Key recommendations in the report include:

1. Rates: Seek greater efficiency , effectiveness and economy from Local authorities. Expand the rates base for Local Government Charges to include Government property- thus reducing the burden on business commercial rates.
2. Waste: Implement Dublinís regional waste plans as a matter of urgency- including the thermal waste treatment plant at Poolbeg. Waste will pile up on the cityís streets by 2009 when the region runs out of landfill capacity.
3. Housing: Urgently create an adequate stocks of affordable housing, ensuring excellent design standards in high density housing schemes.
4. Transport: Fast track key infrastructural projects and deliver within budget. Requires streamlining the planning, financing and delivery processes.
5. Crime: Government should establish a specialised business unit within the Garda Reserve to deal with all aspects of crime against business.
6. Improve communication/assessment: Convene an annual forum bringing together those charged with running the city to assess the effectiveness of agreed initiatives. A five-year rolling plan should be developed and closely tracked by this forum, which must operate in an environment of openness and transparency.

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