Wednesday, July 26, 2006

laura, who are you?

David McWilliams is well know in Ireland as the tosser who invented the term "Celtic Tiger".
He posted on his blog about city populations falling and transport routes after the Irish cencus indicates the population of Cork (city) is going down.

I'm reproducing a comment by "laura" to the article in full here because it's very Cork centric, and mostly accurate.

laura, 7/25/2006
Firstly while it appears correct on paper that the
populations are falling in Cork and Limerick cities, in
reality what has happened is that city boundaries have not
been updated to account for growth outside very narrow
boundaries. A good example of this is in Cork, where land
sitting right beside the north ring road on one side of the
road is Mayfield (city) and the other side is "Barrnavarra"
(county). Its in some ways a degree of subtle postcode
snobbery that suits the residents (and it also, no doubt,
suits the local city council who have maybe half a mile
less of housing estates to maintain). Yet this is less
than half an hours walk to the city centre and does not
reflect the pattern of growth around the city! If so-
called hinterland area growth was taken into account in
Cork (and probably also in Limerick), in fact the city
population would not be falling.

However, I did notice when I moved to Cork ex-Dublin, via
London, in 2002, how much of the city was derelict. Almost
everything east of south mall with a handful of exceptions
was empty and/or derelict. There were numerous derelict
sites even around South Mall, and two hotels and a
guesthouse (brand new) closed their doors between 2002 and
2004 on Morrisons island, leaving the street totally
derelict were it not for the College of Commerce and School
of Music. This is supposedly in the midst of a "boom."

Many of the sites are now building sites and some are
apartment blocks (usually section 50, and many of them as
much as 2-4 miles from the nearest 3rd level college, which
is puzzling as it indicates to me that they were built for
the short term benefit of tax breaks rather than as genuine
long term student accomodation).

Public transport needs - as much thanks to pathetic
management in CIE as much as trade unions who are stuck in
the 19th century - outside (and even sometimes inside) the
cities are certainly not booming. The incredible thing I
find is that routes that were abolished (such as the much
lamented number 60 in north Dublin) are now suddenly sorely
missed, as the missing passengers are now pouring into new
housing estates that have no public transport, and are
nearly 2 miles from the nearest amenities of any sort.

We are building 24-hour bus lanes for services which are
only 15-18 hr services - why? Where are the 24 hr buses?

At the same time employers are demanding "flexibility" from
the workers which demands people work from as early as 6am
up to as late as 1am - with no transportation provided -
often as a simple condition of employment. In Cork you see
people parked 1-2 miles outside the city walking in to save
parking money as they drive in from 20-30 miles away. I
see people in my job driving to work and paying 5 euro a
day (for admittedly very cheap parking for a city centre
location) on salaries as little as 17k pa rather than
sitting on the dole in Mallow or Youghal.

But most of the jobs aren't in the city. They are in
Raheen in Limerick, Eastgate, Carraigtohill, the airport,
Bishopstown and Ballincollig in Cork. In Dublin they are
in Sandyford, Cherrywood, Swords and Blanchardstown. Its
also much easier to drive to Swords from Drogheda or Ardee
than from Whitehall or Drumcondra: why would anybody live
in the city when the development is all on the edge? In
Cork the guy who moves from his 17k a year job in the city
centre can get and extra 1k per year at least for every
miles outwards - 4 miles east of the city he'll get 21k a
year and free parking, 10 miles west and he'll get 28k,
better t&cs AND free parking. We are developing edge
cities that are going to leave a denuded centre which
inevitably will be filled up with rent subsidised tenants
and those who cannot afford to get out.


update : this might be Laura


Anonymous James said...

Good points - the boundary thing was obvious, I'm surprised so many people are acting surprised... especially when you see the growth in Carrigaline/Ballingcollig/Carigtwohill

3:41 p.m., July 26, 2006  
Anonymous Damien Mulley said...

I think I know this Laura.

4:37 p.m., July 26, 2006  
Blogger cork-host said...

Does she have a blog, I'd like to ensure she gets the credit for her words

10:50 a.m., July 27, 2006  

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