Monday, September 14, 2009

Cross party delegation to meet Minster for Trade and Enterprise

At a meeting of Waterford City Council tonight it was agreed that a cross party delegation would go and meet the Minister for Trade and Enterprise to discuss the serious job losses in Waterford and economic activity in the city. I agreed with the proposition but not without reservation. Firstly I think it is important for local elected representatives to voice our concerns at the haemorrhaging of jobs in Waterford and the failure of Government policies. The Minister and the Government need to feel the heat and be made aware of the human cost of job losses, Government cuts and failed Government policies.

What struck me about tonight’s meeting however was how heavily dependent we are on central government and how weak our local government system is. Why is it that we have to continuously go cap in hand to a Minister to get what we deserve as of right? I am also conscious of not raising unrealistic expectations. A delegation of Waterford City Council meeting with the Minister will not create a single job. Our greatest strength is our ability to bring agencies together and force action locally.

On a separate but somewhat related note I was intrigued by a contribution by Cllr Jack Walsh of the Labour Party at the meeting. He spoke passionately about the need for us to pass Lisbon or face the prospect of being marginalised and scare potential inward investors. Does he really believe that investors will base their decision to come or go on whether or not we vote for Lisbon? I doubt it even rates as an afterthought. However the intriguing part of his contribution for me is that if we do pass Lisbon, give more power to the EU and take a step closer to complete economic, political and military union then it will not be national Ministers we will have to meet in the future but unelected EU commissioners.

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