Businesses Express Outrage over Dublin Town’s Creative Quarter Festival

Traders not consulted over festival plans which will close streets and block loading bays

A proposed festival in Dublin City Centre has ignited controversy today after a multitude of varying-sized businesses have expressed concerns and anger over a lack of consultation and disruption to business. The ‘Creative Quarter’ festival, due to take place on the 26thand 27th August, will see busy streets closed off to traffic and a number of loading bays blocked.

Many businesses in the area have expressed concern over many aspects of the festival, including the lack of consultation offered from the organisers Dublin Town and the promotion of several businesses in the area over others. Joe Macken, founder and owner of the successful JoBurger restaurants, including one on Castle Market, has expressed his concerns; ‘The businesses in this area haven’t been properly informed of the details. We’re less than two weeks out from the event but we don’t yet have any specific details about what is going on. Dublin Town want to close off several streets and block off a number of loading bays at quite short notice. I myself am not opposed to a festival – actually I’d really love it.   But takes more than two lads with clip boards going around asking business what’s their party piece and any chance of a discount on the day for punters. We need to attract new business and reopen people eyes as to the fun that can be had in and around South William Street to not disturb the current flow of custom.  Well planned events – take time, have themes and are highly collaborative, why can’t we do it?”

Another business owner in the area, Mary Costelloe, of Costelloe & Costelloe, also voiced concerns over the festival; ‘’this event is about Dublin Town trying to justify their half-baked idea of a ‘creative quarter’ and it’s not about doing anything positive for business in the area. It doesn’t make sense to host this event at a very busy time of year. It is a badly thought-out, calamitous idea and all of the businesses I’ve spoken to are utterly outraged.’’

The Creative Quarter Festival will see intense disruption to Fade Street, South William Street, Castle Market, Clarendon Street, Exchequer Street and Drury Street. The event is organised by Dublin Town, who recently survived a very narrow vote on their 5 year renewal on 17thJuly.

ENDS

Please Note:

Joe Macken is available for interview.

For further information please contact:

Paul Allen                                                                 Rory Sweeney

Paul Allen & Associates                                          Paul Allen & Associates

18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2                            18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2

01 676 9575 / 087 257 5700                                       01 676 9575 / 086 897 6442

 

 

Paul
Paul Allen & Associates,
Public Relations,

18 Fitzwilliam Square South,
Dublin 2.
Tel: 00-353-1-6769575
Fax: 00-353-1-6769518

Advertisements

Unsound legislation and unsafe procedures surrounding the manner in which BID plebiscite was conducted

25th July 2017

No to BID Campaign Vows to Continue their Campaign to Stand-Down BID Scheme

Calls on Gardaí to Investigate Vote

The No to BID Campaign group, formed to campaign against the renewal of the Dublin BID scheme, have announced that they will continue their campaign. The announcement comes in the wake of the narrow vote among city centre businesses on the renewal of the Dublin BID scheme for another five years. The No to BID group have renewed their mandate to ramp up their campaign following a huge 50% increase on the No vote from 2012.

A statement from No to BID spokesperson Kim Condon raised some of the concerns that arose during the campaign and during the election count on the 17th July; ‘’We also have extremely grave concerns about the unsound legislation and unsafe procedures surrounding the manner in which the plebiscite was conducted. A senior official in Dublin City Council admitted opening the ballot box and placing a large number of envelopes inside. We have written to An Garda Síochana asking them to investigate this incident. The No to BID Campaign will continue to campaign for transparency, accountability and corporate governance.’’

Ms Condon went on to say that the group will continue its campaign to disband Dublin BID; ‘’Following a meeting yesterday, the No to BID Campaign came to a unanimous decision to continue the campaign to disband the Dublin BID scheme and the private company DublinTown. We would like to thank all of the businesses for their continued support for the campaign to end the BID. We will represent the best interests of the city centre business community going forward.’’

The vote to disband the Dublin BID was held among certain business (double) ratepayers in the city centre. After a divisive campaign, the Yes vote has seen a collapse in its support with 843 business voting yes, compared to almost 1,100 in 2012 or a drop of over 20%. The No vote has seen its share surge from 511 in 2012 to 715 in 2017, an increase of almost 50%

The No to BID Campaign represents over 700 small and medium sized businesses. The No campaign had wide support, including the Restaurants Association of Ireland, the Irish Hotels Federation, the Irish Hairdressers Federation and the Irish Newsagents and Convenience Stores Association.

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

Attached is Joe McCarthy’s note, an independent observer at the count on July 17th.  His note provides detail on the No to BID Campaign’s concerns over the voting and counting procedures.

Continue reading

Cllr’s on board of BID support private quango

street cleaningCllr Lacey (Labour) and Cllr Nial Ring (Independent) have come out in support of the privitisation of street cleaning services in defiance of SIPTU, Trade Union, Shop stewards and DCC waste management workers. Both Cllrs are on the Board of the ‘BID/We are Dublin Town’ a private Company and a Quango which has basically been engaged in misinformation and scaremongering in the face of many businesses who wish to end their involvement with this quango.

(See statement here:

http://www.wearedublintown.ie/2017/07/cllrs-reaffirm-council-no-budget-dublintown-cleaning-service/

 

This is the letter, below, that SIPTU issued to Owen Keegan (CEO Dublin City Council) and also to all street cleaning workers on July 10th.

I find it difficult to understand how Cllr Lacey and Cllr Nial Ring who profess to be ardent trade unionists, indeed Cllr Lacey is a member of the ‘Labour party’, can come out against the Dublin City Council workers and Trade union members who have great concerns about losing their jobs to private companies like ‘BID/Dublintown”.

These double standards need to be exposed irrespective of the outcome of Monday’s vote on the BID/Dublintown.

It really is unprecedented that Cllr Lacey and Cllr Ring would issue such a contemptuous disregarding press statement in support of a private company.  A true slap in the face to the DCC workers they are elected to protect!

We all know what happened and what is still happening as a result of privatizing, general waste and the bins.

Let’s keep it Council.

page 1 SIPTU

Letter sent by SIPTU officials to City Manager, Owen Keegan with the concerns their workers have in relation to BID

 

page 2 SIPTU

Letter sent by SIPTU officials to City Manager, Owen Keegan with the concerns their workers have in relation to BID

 

Trade Unions claim ‘no need for Dublintown’

 

11th July 2017

Trade Unions Claim Dublin City Council has no need for Dublin Town

The No to BID Campaign today (Tuesday, 11th July) welcomed SIPTU/IMPACT Trade Unions involvement in the campaign to scrap Dublin Town. In a letter seen by the campaign team, which was written to the Dublin City Manager, Owen Keegan highlighting the fact that the DCC Waste Management Department ‘Can deliver services to all areas of the city day and night without the need of external providers and we are surprised that this message was not outlined more forcefully.’

Commenting on this, No to BID Campaign spokesperson Kim Condon said; ‘Our campaign would like to thank Patrick McCormack from SIPTU for writing to the City Manager. In his letter he clearly states that Dublin City Council Waste Management staff will have no problem in coping in the event of a No vote, and reinforces the position that there is absolutely no need for Dublin Town and it should be scrapped immediately.’

In Mr McCormacks’ letter he follows on to say; ‘One of the biggest problems that our members face daily is the lack of enforcement personnel on the ground which is due to the failure of Dublin City Council to hire Litter Warden staff. A situation that if not resolved shortly will be referred to the WRC as a breach of the Landsdowne Road Agreement.’

Kim went on to say; ‘We would not be surprised if there were walk outs by Trade Union members in the coming days.’

Tomorrow Evening, (Wednesday, 12th July) the No to BID Campaign will host a debate in St. Stephen’s Green Club from 6pm. The debate will be chaired by former Environment Editor of The Irish Times correspondent, Frank McDonald and will be broadcast live on Facebook Live.

VISIT  www.notobidcampaign.com

 

Irish Times advert

Advert in today’s Irish Times 11/06/17

 

-Ends-

Please Note:

Kim Condon is available for interview.

For more information please contact:

Paul Allen                                                                 Rory Sweeney

Paul Allen & Associates                                          Paul Allen & Associates

18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2                            18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2

01 676 9575 / 087 257 5700                                       01 676 9575 / 086 897 6442

 

ATTENTION all BID voters

www.notobidcampaign.com

Please see press release below from Paul Allen PR in relation to the BID/Dublintown plebiscite on July 17th.

We are involved with the Dublin City businesses who are campaigning against the Dublin Business Improvement District (operating currently as Dublin Town).

There is a vote among the businesses in the district on the 17th July.

This is a vitally Important issue for around 3,000 businesses in Dublin City Centre.

If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Many Thanks,

Paul.

Press Release

 Wednesday 5th July 2017

Missing Ballot Papers and Complete Confusion Ahead of Vital Dublin City Vote

The No to BID Campaign group businesses has today (Wednesday, July 5th) called on Dublin City Council CEO Owen Keegan to take action and investigate the status of lost and missing ballot papers ahead of the vote on the future of the Dublin Business Improvement District (trading as DublinTown).

The No to BID Campaign has received dozens of complaints from businesses in the District that they have not yet received ballot papers for the vote on July 17th.

Commenting on this, No to BID Campaign spokesperson Kim Condon said; ‘’we are now in the 11th hour of this campaign and all we have been hearing from many businesses is that they have not yet received ballot papers. They were supposed to have received them last week and have been continuously requesting them from Dublin City Council. We have also been notified that Dublin BID representatives have been approaching businesses asking to collect their ballot papers. This is totally unacceptable and the No to BID Campaign is calling on Mr Keegan to investigate this situation immediately.’’

The No to BID Campaign has been gathering momentum, with the Restaurants Association of Ireland, the Irish Hotels Federation, the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association and the Irish Hairdressers Federation all declaring their support for the No side in recent days. The Licensed Vintners Association and the Dublin Chamber of Commerce are staying neutral on the issue, but many of their leading members have also declared their support for a No vote.

Dublin BID (operated by DublinTown) is a company which was set up in 2008 following a vote of Dublin city centre businesses. It is charged with improving Dublin City as a commercial district. Businesses in the district pay a compulsory levy of 5% of their commercial rates. DublinTown is renewed every five years by a vote of businesses in the district. The vote this year is overshadowed by a groundswell of anger and mistrust from businesses over a proposed 34% increase to the levy and highly-contested footfall figures.

ENDS.

Notes to the Editor:

Please Note:

Kim Condon is available for interview.

For more information please contact:

Paul Allen                                                                 Rory Sweeney

Paul Allen & Associates                                         Paul Allen & Associates

18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2                            18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2

01 676 9575 / 087 257 5700                                       01 676 9575 / 086 897 6442

 

Call to action, all Dublin northsiders

 

Brendan Walsh

Dubliner                                 (Photo: Brendan Walsh)

 

It would appear the DublinTown/BID company is hell bent on generally demonising and othering the North side of this city.  I am a member of the DublinTown/BID board and I wish to entirely distance myself from the attached report that was presented at this afternoon’s financial meeting at Dublin City Council.

It seems that the CEO, Mr Richard Guiney, thinks he is running this city and that he can make generalised pronouncements as ‘fact’ regarding certain parts of the city.

Fear and crime in Ireland, not just Dublin, is a big issue. Fear of crime is a global issue and is well-documented, but it is seldom used to demonise an area, a neighbourhood, a community.  Somebody has to come to the defence of the great Northside of our city and the fantastic people that live and work there. DublinTown/BID was set up to improve area’s (the clue is in the name- Business Improvement District).  It was rebranded ‘We are DublinTown’ to be more inclusive and welcoming.  But when it starts to demonise and ridicule whole parts of the city, in my view, it is time to challenge Mr Guiney and his board and the whole idea of what DublinTown/BID  actually is.

As an Independent City Councillor, I have a deep loyalty to my city and its citizens and a duty to Dublin City Council.  Dublin City Council should come out and defend the city and the politicians of the Northside should come out and defend that part of the city against Mr Guiney’s and BID’s slurs about its character and good name.

Nobody has questioned DublinTown’s findings  in the attached report or where he got them from.  Nobody at the meeting today of the Finance SPC questioned him on them other than me.  On the contrary, they broadly endorsed Mr Guiney’s presentation, obviously completely unaware that he was going to present his report to the RTE news as a fait accompli. Of course, the media picked up on his negative portrayal of the Northside of our city in a sensationalist headline that doesn’t help this city in its many struggles. Or assist the many individuals and residents who go out every day to make the place a better place.

Twenty years ago, Limerick city was greatly damaged by this same kind of media coverage of reports like these and it has taken the citizens of Limerick to the present day to shrug off and counter the stigmatising of that great city.  As in Limerick, short term sensational headlines did most of the damage and DublinTown and Mr. Guiney are now engaged in that same practice and Dublin will suffer greatly as a result of their careless recklessness toward the businesses and citizens of this city.

The reputation of Dublin and in particular Dublin’s Northside is at stake here.

DublinTown/BID is not a statutory organisation.  It should not be given a carte blanche platform to put out these reports. I am constantly questioning DublinTown/BID and the manner in which it is allowed to conduct its business in this city.  It carries a big business agenda and ignores SMEs and shops and as, in this report, it recklessly ghettoises a large part of the commercial and residential district. In my opinion, this renders BID unfit for purpose as it is negatively branding the north side of the city and spreading more loathing and fear. Not even An Garda Siochána would put out such a report and description.

For an organisation like DublinTown/BID to be doing this is an agenda of destruction, disregard, and disrespect for the city’s northside. City dwellers, especially northsiders should stand up to this and defend their city from the likes of DublinTown/BID who exist on a rate payers’ levy that is akin to a ransom demand according to most small business who are in a deep financial struggle to even exist.

For a company that is given rate payers’ money and allowed do this with it without being challenged is an absolute disgrace. Shame on the DublinTown/BID company, its board and its CEO for this action and these outrageous statements.

They should unreservedly apologise to the northsiders of Dublin for undermining them and stigmatising them in such a fashion.  If they were to do this to Grafton Street or indeed, South William Street there would be an unmerciful outcry.  We need now to hear the real voice of the Northside. The real voice of all Dubliner’s who love their city.

Mr. Guiney of DublinTown, instead of creating unity and a shared city that we can all enjoy, is creating a city of divide and foreboding and this at the expense of the city and its citizens, and he gets rate payers’ money to do it.

Given the day that’s in it, Bloomsday, where we celebrate the greatness of our city in all its guises from the Monto to the Sandycove Martello tower – it’s time to defend Dublin in all its aches, pains and glories.

Up the Dubs.

Link to RTE report: http://m.rte.ie/news/2016/0616/796148-dublin-opinion/