Councillor says there is support for Limerick Youth Service project

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Cllr Tom Shortt pictured at the site of the proposed new centre [Picture: Michael Cowhey]
Labour councillor Tom Shortt says his party’s grass roots all back plans by the Limerick Youth Service to build on the northside.

Labour councillor Tom Shortt says his party’s grass roots all back plans by the Limerick Youth Service to build on the northside.

The Limerick Youth Service wants to build a new multi-level youth centre on vacant lands in the shadow of Thomond Park, using funding from JP McManus.

But the application - currently before An Bord Pleanala - has split the community, with many fearing a youth service building could bring an increase in anti-social behaviour.

Instead of building on land in a built-up area, the residents have argued that empty lands in nearby Moyross could be utilised.

Unlike many planning applications, councillors have a key role to play, because they will decide whether to allow the youth service to build on local authority land.

And at a meeting of the Limerick City constituency council of the Labour party, Cllr Shortt, the one member who has been a constant backer of the scheme claims he has persuaded his colleagues to back it.

He gave a presentation on the benefits of the €2m scheme to members, saying: “It was a significant development that the rank and file membership of the party also issued a strong recommendation, that the four Labour city councillors should support the leasing of land to Limerick Youth Service, when the issue comes to a vote at City Council later this year.”

He added: “Speakers expressed concern, that €2m of funding might be lost if the project did not get the go ahead this year and an invitation was issued to Limerick Youth Service to make a presentation, at the next meeting of the constituency council, about the possibility of providing similar youth facilities in other parts of the city.”

Southside Labour councillor Joe Leddin confirmed there was “general approval” for the scheme from members.

But he reserved judgement on whether he will back the project.

“I have understood the concerns of the residents, but on the other side, I have visited the provider, and suffice to say the conditions they are operating in are certainly not suitable either,” he said.