Reopening Limerick

The Committee of Yes to #LiveableLimerick welcome the recent positive steps taken by Limerick to protect its citizens by making changes to how people circulate and use parts of the city.

We welcome the fact and thank councillors on both “sides” who insisted that the discussions must continue in two weeks’ time to see how further improvements may be added.  

We especially welcome the measures to help people to safely navigate their way to and around the city other than in cars.

Since the foundation of #LiveableLimerick we have been of the view that the way forward for our Limerick is an ambitious liveable plan explained to all stakeholders in an inclusive and positive way.  We have pushed for consultation to be open and transparent but also meaningful.  We have pushed for dialogue to be respectful and inclusive.  We have not been alone. Many others have been vocal in wanting a better city.

Only working together with mutual respect, taking the time to understand each other’s perspectives can real lasting and positive change be implemented.  No result should depend on whose voice is loudest or whose threat of legal action is strongest. 

Indeed, the role and duty of our officials and elected officials is to guard against that and make sure everyone is represented fairly. 

We are today disappointed that many of the people, including our members, who consulted as part of the public process did not see their views communicated and explained to the Councillors at this week’s meeting in a rush to have something agreed.  This makes them feel that their views are less important than those of the people (on both sides of the arguments) who have been invited to dialogue before the proposals went for decision to the elected members.  It is understandable why people feel angry and disappointed.  A strong united city has no place for that. 

Limerick Council issued a press release Friday saying that the “vast majority” of the COVID-19 proposals were to be implemented.  It was stated that after a review of the submissions and a meeting of an “Advisory Group” (of which we were listed as members), a set of changes would now be implemented.  The impression was created by the press release, which we have asked to have corrected, that #LiveableLimerick was part of the discussions leading to the amended proposals.  None of our committee or anyone with authority to represent us was invited to the meetings described where we understand common positions or at least amended positions on the original proposals were negotiated.  We were also not contacted after the meeting unlike others to see whether we might be able to support the amended position for the elected councillors. 

But we say, that is now history.  We have to find a way to move forward.

There is reason for optimism not the pessimism which has rained on social media since Wednesday.

A less than perfect process has left many people feeling angry or overlooked but that is not an excuse for nastiness.

We believe in their own way, everyone agrees that they want a better Limerick.  Despite the recent advances, our city and towns are still not working as we would like them to.

As a result, we are calling for everyone to take a step back and reflect on their common ground first and then to engage in further dialogue.  We understand many other great ideas (not just our own of course!) have been tabled as part of the consultation.  These should not be consigned to a closed file in Limerick Council’s office bur carefully examined to see if they can be implemented so that the changes are more inclusive.   Specifically, even if the city plan has dominated the airwaves, we should also include better plans for our county towns and villages. 

Now we believe is the time for our newly elected Cathoirleach to use her historic office to bring people together.  We, like many others to whom we have talked, are ready to support her and help.

Now is also the time for the council staff who have worked hard to get us this far to produce an analysis of the best and least controversial of those ideas, to circulate that full analysis in advance of the meeting in two weeks’ time and for our political leaders to see how many of those might be implemented quickly and how many others need further analysis before they can come back for decision.  No one’s points of view should be ignored or forgotten.  We would recommend, to ensure a feeling of full transparency that the full set of consultations available on line for those who want to see them.

Most importantly, we call on the council staff to revert to people who carried out their citizens duty to engage in the consultation to explain the whys or why not if their idea is not being put forward.

Some years ago we would never have believed that we would be seeing these positive changes in the core of our city.  That is due to strong advocacy across the political spectrum and the hard work of officials in Limerick City and County Council.

Of course, it is natural, we might still want to see more as explained in our own submission.

But the change that can appear obvious and necessary to some may be fearful for others.   

It is necessary that we cross this bridge together.

We will be working with traders and the authorities to animate some of the newly available spaces over the summer in a family friendly and fun way.

We call on all parties now to move recent history and their differences to the side.   We need to harness a new energy to work on our shared ambition.

Responding to Limerick through Covid-19

PRESS RELEASE

Limerick May 27, 2020

In response to the Draft Proposals Guiding Limerick ThroughCovid-19 Transforming a challenge into an opportunity’, #LiveableLimerick has today issued the following statement:-

#Liveablelimerick welcome the proposals to change the uses of streets and public realm to help residents and businesses in our communities to get through these challenging months. 

We would, however, encourage that more ambitious street closuresand/or speed limit restrictions are considered not just for the retail part and riverbanks of the city centre but also in other residential parts of the city, including, Kings Island, other areas of Newtown Pery, John’s Square, Hyde Road and other areas in county towns particularly at weekends.  We believe other streets proximate to housing, especially apartment living, should be closed on weekends for safer pedestrian use or recreational family cycling.  

We also welcome the reduction of speed limits to 25km in the designated area but remind Councillors that 73% of pedestrians hit by a passenger car travelling at 21km-30km hour suffer critical injuries whereas at 11km – 20km only 13% of persons are so injured.  

As a result, we are today calling on our Councillors to put safety first and reduce new emergency speed limits from 25km to 15km to create a truly safe space where people, bikes and motorised vehicles can mix comfortably, more commonly known as a “Shared Space”.

“The key condition for the design of any shared surface is that drivers, upon entering the street, recognise that they are in a shared space and react by driving very slowly (i.e. 20km/h or less).”

(Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets 2019)

We remind Councillors that 15km was the speed limit they agreed forO’Connell Street. 

Safety is not just for the streets in Limerick city centre.  We would also propose a speed limit of 15km for areas of high pedestrian usage in the Towns and Villages throughout Co. Limerick to improve safety for people making journeys by walking or cycling during the Covid-19 restrictions.

Given the very short distances involved, a further reduction of 10km in speed would not even add 1 minute travel time inside the proposed 25km zone map in Limerick City but would protect of 98% of pedestrian and cyclists road users from the risk of fatal injuries.

#Liveablelimerick fully supports a public information campaign to make road users aware of changes, and enforcement of new speed limits to protect all road users.

We look to you, our politicians, and to our public officials to inspire and lead with yet another “first” for Limerick – not just shared spaces but safe shared spaces for Limerick City and County.

#LiveableLimerick Committee

#LiveableLimerick is a social movement of volunteers who love their city and want to bring about change to make it more liveable place to reside. We want to see Limerick city centre to become the most desirable, safe and fun place to live, work, shop and visit. Limerick deserves the best, let’s plan for the future by designing best-in-class public realm and urban mobility strategies for all who use our city.

Lean on Me

Screenshot 2020-04-17 at 12.25.42Volunteer led initiative launched to help generate cash flow from neighbours for Limerick based SMEs through the COVID-19 period

  • New initiative is called Lean on me and is led by a number of well-known local volunteers from Limerick
  • Aim is to generate essential cashflows for local SMEs by helping customers to pay today for a voucher which will be redeemed at a later date when the chosen businesses reopen
  • Even if the shop is closed, people can pay for the vouchers through the online portal leanonme.eu
  • Aimed at small and medium sized local Limerick businesses that mean so much to so many people from coffee shops, barbers, hairdressers, butchers and every other local business we value
  • The pilot project is going live this coming week with some 20 city businesses. Other businesses and towns in the county are coming online very shortly.
  • Other businesses are free to apply to join.

LIMERICK, Friday 17th April 2020

Lean on me is an initiative devised by @LiveableLimerick and a group of local volunteers to help local Limerick businesses. The new volunteer led initiative uses smart technology to connect customers who want to support their favourite local business. The aim of Lean on me is to act as a conduit between every person who feel that they can contribute some cash and their favourite business. The new web portal www.leanonme.eu allows customers to pay for a voucher for their chosen local business which is collected at a later date after the business reopens.

The initiative especially helps business that do not have the existing IT infrastructure to generate very essential cash flow and sell vouchers online. The overall goal of Lean on me is to re-start the cashflow for local businesses. While businesses may have closed their doors and the cash dried up – the bills have not. Lean on me wants to ensure that local businesses re-open and flourish when the time is right. The people of Limerick’s immediate support will help business to re-open in the coming months.

The businesses hosted on Lean on me are businesses that everyone really wants to see open when we return back to normal. They are businesses that mean something to you (and us!). They are businesses that are not big enough to survive this on their own. The list of criteria is short, but it is important that as many people and businesses as possible get involved.

Criteria:

  • Independent retailer, or small chain with local origins
  • Locally operated and managed
  • Essential to the personality and fabric of Limerick
  • Irreplaceable if not sustained

The online portal, www.leanonme.eu, was built by Sean Ryan and his team at elive (a local Limerick business) while Pat Fitzgerald and his team at Grid Finance (another local business) will manage the safe transfer of funds from the customer to the business. This process is supported by a wider team of local volunteers from all different types of backgrounds but with one aim – to keep our favourite businesses going.

The idea started when local business leaders John Moran and Joe Brooks found a shared desire to support their favourite local Limerick businesses throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period. Since then, they have rallied the troops, using the #liveablelimerick network and found no shortage of volunteers with Will Ryan of the Limerick Post, local economist Seán Golden and Miriam O’Connor of Sellors Solicitors quickly showing an interest in getting involved.

The Lean on me team now stands at 10 direct volunteers with much more help coming from the wider community in Limerick as the days go on. Because of the travel restrictions, the team would particularly like to have other local business champions from all across the county make contact to see how the network of participating businesses to be supported can be expanded.

The process is simple. For vendors, they register their details on www.leanonme.eu and supply the relevant information then create awareness amongst the local community that they are now “open for business”. For customers it is just as easy, log on to www.leanonme.eu purchase a coupon (or coupons) for your business of choice and the retailer will reach out to you directly to discuss how you can redeem your voucher(s). While the process is simple, it will go a long way in helping the local business that we care most about. After all, SMEs in Limerick account for more than 44% of total employment, they are often the linchpin of many local communities and they are the businesses where many of us began our careers.

The website will go live on Monday 20th of April with business and customers both being able to start supporting each other.

A full list of businesses volunteering their time to set up and support Lean on me are:

RHH International

Limerick Post

Grid Finance

Sellors Solicitors

elive

Tola

Chair of #LiveableLimerick and founding member of Lean on me, John Moran, said

“Limerick is, above all, a county with a strong sense of community and belonging. We know how to survive by supporting each other. Lean on me looks to help our small businesses out by allowing them to rely on all of us just a little to get through this. Even €10 makes a big difference to a small business if enough people are able to contribute. Small and medium enterprises employ a substantial amount of people in both Limerick City and County they sustain a greater number of families through employment and operating in local areas. We want this to continue.”

Founding member of Lean on me, Joe Brooks, said

“These are businesses that we all care about, they are part of the fabric of Limerick City and County. They provide us with our daily coffee, our groceries, clothing and even the odd social gathering at the weekend. We want, and need, to see these businesses reopen. To let these businesses fight this period on their own does not coincide with the Limerick spirit. While we appreciate and empathise with many people not being in a position to continue to support their local favourite business, we hope there are many people out there that are lucky enough to still be in a position to offer support now when their local business needs it more than ever.”

Sean Ryan, Managing Director of elive and member of Lean on me, said

“It is great to see such a community spirit when it comes to supporting local business. Being part of a local business myself I know how important this will be in keeping them going. It is great to see such a large amount of local businesses looking to support other local business, from Pat and his team at Grid Finance, to Will’s team at the Limerick Post and Miriam’s team at Sellors everyone showed a real appetite to volunteer their time from the get go and get this system up and running. The process is really straight forward the customer comes to www.leanonme.eu and they select their amount and their chosen business input their payment information and that’s it. They will receive a confirmation receipt and the retailer will reach out letting them know how to redeem their voucher”

Further information Contact

 Lean on me

Sean.christopher.golden@gmail.com

Seán Golden

 

 

€2bn urban neighbourhood in Limerick city centre

Development of a €2 billion scheme with 10,000 homes in Limerick City moved a step closer on Friday after the State-sponsored Land Development Agency (LDA) outlined plans for the site.

The LDA, established to co-ordinate land within State control for optimal use, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Limerick City and County Council, the HSE and CIÉ to create a master plan for the brownfield site located at Limerick’s Colbert train station.
The 123 acre (50 hectare) site has the capacity for 10,000 homes, most of which will be apartments. With an expected cost of €200,000 per unit, the total residential element of the site will cost about €2 billion. It’s understood that the parties are looking at progressing the project on the basis of the site ownership staying as it currently is.

Chairman of the LDA, John Moran, said: “The initiative at Colbert Station represents a significant step forward for us in delivering on our nationwide remit to help harness the growth potential of cities throughout Ireland,” said Mr Moran.

“I am thrilled to see such ambition coming from our own team, the other stakeholders and signatories to embark on a project of this scale. Its city centre location at Limerick’s main regional and intercity transport hub will show the value of and deliver a very desirable “transit oriented development”. That form of development will be the key for the future to fostering cohesion and sustainable living in this new local community. Healthy living without car dependency can now become a reality for thousands of new residents in Limerick,” he added.

John Coleman, CEO of the LDA, said: “The area at Colbert Station provides the scale required to deliver transformative redevelopment projects which are at the core of the LDA’s mandate. The LDA is an agency with a national remit and the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding represents a significant step forward for the LDA’s footprint in cities outside Dublin.

XMAS Dash – 6 Sleeps & Counting!

Last year, for the first time ever in Limerick City, #LiveableLimerick organised a very successful and enjoyable Christmas Dash to raise funds for homeless services organisations Novas and Peter McVerry Trust.

#LiveableLimerick in conjunction with LCCC held a series of charity Christmas Dashes on O’Connell Street, which was fully open to the public, demonstrating the streets of Limerick can play host not just to cars, but to fun participatory inclusive events.

This year, we want it to be even bigger!

Transition Year students may be interested in this event to raise funds for homeless charities in Limerick next Sunday – with the turning on of Christmas Lights in Limerick City.  We invite schools to get involved.
Additional information: www.liveablelimerick.com
(Twitter- @LiveableLimk)

Screenshot 2019-11-11 at 11.12.05.png