Residents’ anger as ‘key community report’ fails to appear

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

RESIDENTS’ groups in regeneration areas have accused Limerick City Council of allowing dust to gather on a key community report.

RESIDENTS’ groups in regeneration areas have accused Limerick City Council of allowing dust to gather on a key community report.

In 2011, Limerick City Council joined up with the PAUL Partnership to produce the Nexus Report.

The report, conducted by researcher Brian Dillon, is expected to give a critical analysis of the current community involvement structures.

Despite this, it has never seen the light of day, and Oliver O’Loughlin, regeneration director at City Council, told residents the structures for community participation would remain unchanged until a second report - which is entitled Supporting Social Inclusioon and Regeneration (SSIRL) - is released.

But this is not expected to be out for at least a year.

And the residents committees are upset at the way community groups are invite-only, as opposed to recruited through elections.

Cathal McCarthy, chairperson of the Weston Gardens Residents Association, believes there is no reason why the Nexus Report cannot be implemented in the meantime, and he said the council are embarking on “a stalling tactic”.

A 2010 report commissioned by Our Lady of Lourdes Community Service Group recommended the structures around community groups be changed so they are no longer only by invitation.

Pat Begley, chairperson of the Kincora-Carew Park Concerned Residents Action Group, added: “Estate management was never meant to be about paid workers calling the shots - it was meant to be about residents coming together to elect a committee and get on with the job.”

His residents group, alongside those in Weston Gardens, Moyross and Ballinacurra Weston, have called for Limerick City Council to implement the Nexus report without delay.

But a spokesman for the council stated: “The Nexus reeport is not an implementation report, but contains recommendations which will be taken forward as part of the SSIRL process.

“A consultative, inclusive process will take place during 2013, and no-one will be excluded from participating.”