[Sinn Fein]

17th February 2003

Sinn Fein Submit Blueprint for fhe Future Development of Mayo

Mayo Sinn Fein have made proposals for the creation of development hubs at Belmullet and Knock Airport and have called on Mayo County Council to draft a twenty year spatial strategy for the county.

In a wide ranging submission to Mayo County Council s Draft Development Plan Sinn Fein have proposed a wide range of reforms covering the economic, social and cultural development of the County.

In the submission Sinn Fein has called on Mayo County Council to ensure that the whole County has adequate broadband infrastructure and in a radical proposal calls on the Council to become a major player in the revenue generating aspects of Telecommunications in order to finance the future Telecommunications needs of the County.

The submission also calls on Mayo County Council to become involved in wind energy projects via Public Community Partnerships and that development levies and rates arising from any future gas exploration activity should be spent exclusively in the Erris region.

On the issue of single housing in the countryside Sinn Fein has stated that it should be an objective of the Council to encourage sustainable housing in rural Mayo in order to consolidate the existing social infrastructure and to ensure the future viability of the County s rural communities.

Sinn Fein has also called on Mayo County Council to introduce a policy of positive discrimination in favour of the people of rural Mayo by providing serviced land banks in low order rural settlements through out the County for the exclusive use of people who are indigenous to those settlements.

The submission also calls for greater co operation between local authorities and proposes that Mayo County Council should jointly fund projects and share infrastructure when the catchment areas of those projects are within the jurisdiction of one or more of its neighbouring local authorities.

Sinn Fein has also called on the Council to reduce its dependency on Private Consultants and proposes that where there are skill deficits or skills that are rarely used then Mayo County Council should in co-operation with the other five authorities in the Province act as a joint employer by employing the necessary Professionals on a permanent basis in order to address the skills deficit.

The full text of the Sinn Fein submission can be read on their web site www.sinnfeinmayo.com

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