HOUSING minister Jan O’Sullivan has reiterated the Government’s support for the regeneration programme in Limerick.
Speaking at the opening of a symposium on Transforming Local Government and Local Democracy in the University of Limerick this Wednesday, the Labour minister said the Government “remains firmly committed to the successful regeneration of Limerick” and that it would be “the litmus test for transforming local government and local democracy in Limerick”.
“Regeneration is at the very heart of economic and social renewal in this city, now and into the future,” she said.
“From my perspective, regeneration is of the utmost importance to the communities and families living here.
“In housing, despite the constraints on the public capital programme, we have moved to protect the regeneration budget. In 2012 €27.5m was allocated to Limerick regeneration and I am working hard to delivering a substantial capital allocation again in 2013,” she added.
The Labour TD continued: “We have to break the cycles of social exclusion and social disadvantage that has held back the development of this city for years”.
“Regeneration and the investment it brings is critical to doing this. The key to making it work is responsive and effective local government and local democracy.
“Yes, housing is very important. But more challenging tasks await – how do we get children to complete their second level education, can we break the cycle of disadvantage and social exclusion, and can we rebuild vibrant communities across the four regeneration areas?”
The housing minister added that one of the most valuable legacies of regeneration would be “a renewed sense of hope and a real sense of ownership of their community”.