Chamber wants to set up joint body with corporation to tackle Waterford problems


Waterford's business community has called for the establishment of a public-private task force to tackle issues affecting the city.

In an operating plan to guide it to mid-2002, the city's Chamber of Commerce says it is keen to form a joint body with Waterford Corporation to address matters such as litter, crime and antisocial behaviour in the city centre.

Improved traffic flows, parking and pedestrianisation should also fall within the remit of the group, it suggests.

Improving the city's image at national and international level will be a priority of the chamber in the period covered by the plan, says the 13-page document. Studies are planned which will measure the perception of Waterford outside the city and the quality of life for people who live there.

Unsurprisingly, the plan also devotes attention to the lack of major economic investment in Waterford, which claims it is not getting its fair share of the benefits of the economic boom. The chamber says it will continue lobbying IDA Ireland and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to secure increased investment for the city.

Decentralisation of a "significant cohort" of civil servants from Dublin to the city, improvements to Waterford Regional Airport and strategic industrial zone status for Belview port are other priorities.

The plan succeeds a similar blueprint for 1998 to 2000. The chamber president, Ms Monica Leech, said it had been successful in achieving most of the objectives in that document, and expected similar results to be achieved this time.