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.

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More Dublin Businesses Vote NO to BID

More and more businesses are speaking out about the waste of their money spent by the Dublin BID company (Dublintown) and are voting NO to the continuation of this BID scheme.

 

Joe Macken (Jo Burger, Crackbird, Bear and more), Kim Condon (Magill’s Delicatessen) Margaret Brannigan (Gollum’s Jewellery) are just a few of the hundreds of businesses who are saying NO, Voting NO – Join them. Why pay Double Rates?

No to BID Campaign Outraged at DublinTown’s Refusal to Appear at Public Debate

PRESS RELEASE WEDNESDAY 12TH JULY

No to BID Campaign Outraged at DublinTown’s Refusal to Appear at Public Debate

 

The No to BID Campaign has today (Wednesday 12th July) expressed its outrage at the refusal of DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) leadership to appear at a public debate ahead of a vote on the renewal of the initiative.

 

Commenting on this, No to BID Campaign spokesperson Kim Condon said; “we are extremely angry and disappointed that DublinTown have refused to engage in the public debate organised for today. It is yet another example of their lack of transparency and the dictatorial style of leadership they engage in. The No to BID Campaign were very eager for business owners in the City Centre to have a chance to hear the issues properly debated in a public forum. As we have not received any response to our invitations, we are now forced the cancel the venue.” 

 

The public debate on the renewal of DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) was organised for 6pm this evening at the St Stephen’s Green Club with an independent moderator to oversee the event.

 

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.

 

The No to BID Campaign has been gathering momentum this week, 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.

 

ENDS.

Mnx-Flyer-DublinTown2017-A5.indd

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

 

Emergency Motion Calls on DCC CEO Owen Keegan to Withdraw Council Staff from DublinTown Board

PRESS RELEASE: MONDAY JULY 10TH 2017

 

Emergency Motion Calls on Dublin City Council Chief Executive Owen Keegan to Withdraw Council Staff from DublinTown Board

An Emergency Motion has been brought before Dublin City Council calling on the CEO Owen Keegan to withdraw DCC staff from the DublinTown Board. This is to allow due process in any investigation the Council may have to carry out as a result of complaints made to the Council by DublinTown CEO Richard Guiney about Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn.

An official complaint was made by Mr Guiney to Dublin City Council on Friday regarding Councillor Flynn, who is heavily involved in the No to BID Campaign.

Commenting on this, No to BID Campaign spokesperson Kim Condon said; ‘’we were alarmed to hear about the complaint in the first place. Even more alarming was that Councillor Flynn first heard about the complaint when a member of the media contacted him about it on Friday. This would suggest that officials in Dublin City Council or in DublinTown have been selectively leaking information to the media as part of their dirty tricks campaign to discredit our group. We are calling on Owen Keegan to investigate immediately and for DCC staff to withdraw from the board of DublinTown to allow due process in the investigation.’’

Ms Condon went on to say; ‘’the No to BID Campaign is having a surge in momentum and we have received a huge increase in support. It is clear to me that DublinTown is in trouble and chose to engage in this stunt as it is in the dying days of its reign.’’

The Emergency Motion, brought to the DCC South East Area Committee, will be heard today (Monday 10th July) and has been tabled by Councillor Flynn.

DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) 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, a proposed increase to the levy and highly-contested footfall figures.
Paul Allen & Associates,
Public Relations,

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

 

No to BID Campaign calls on PAC to Investigate DublinTown

PRESS RELEASE: JULY 7TH

www.notobidcampaign.com

No to BID Campaign calls on PAC to Investigate DublinTown
The No to BID Campaign, the group of Dublin City Centre businesses opposed to the renewal of DublinTown, have written to the Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Sean Fleming TD asking him to investigate serious concerns the group has about the corporate governance and the lack of transparency at the company. The primary concerns relate to allegations of financial mismanagement, DublinTown’s support for drug injection centres and the city’s footfall figures.

The call for the PAC to investigate DublinTown comes ahead of a vote among business owners in city centre on the 17th July. Businesses are being asked whether to disband DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) or to extend it for another five years.

The campaign to date has seen many allegations of missing ballot papers, falsified footfall figures, support for drug injection centres and breaches of corporate governance. Commenting on this, No to BID Campaign spokesperson Kim Condon said; ‘’we are calling on the Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Sean Fleming to immediately investigate what has been happening at DublinTown over past 5 years. DublinTown and its management have forced us into this position by their lack of transparency and clarity. The businesses who pay into the DublinTown scheme have been repeatedly stonewalled when asking important questions on the footfall figures, drug injection centres and financial affairs at the company. We have been point-blank refused any real answers.’’

Ms Condon went on to say; ‘’nobody wants to take this sort of extraordinary action, but we have been left with no other alternative. As the campaign has gone on, more and more serious concerns and questions about DublinTown have arisen. There would appear to be no level of corporate governance and their lack of engagement with businesses who pay their wages is astounding. Members of the No to BID Campaign have been threatened with legal action by DublinTown, seeking to censor us. That is the sort of organisation we are dealing with and a perfect example of why I’ll be voting No to BID on July 17th and I call on all businesses in the city to do likewise. We have organised a public debate on Wednesday 12th, and Bobby Kerr has agreed to host a radio debate on Newstalk tomorrow Saturday morning at 11.20am. I would encourage business owners to attend and tune in, as it may be our last chance for honest answers ahead of the vote.’’

DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) 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 No to BID group comprises of over 800 businesses in Dublin City centre, illustrating a diversity of business interests dedicated to shutting down the DublinTown operation.

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

 

http://www.notobidcampaign.com/press-release.html

Historic Monument- 21 Aungier Street

Aungier Street 21 After

21 Aungier Street, Dublin.  

No 21 Aungier Street is designated under 4 different legal principles; National Monuments and Sites Act, Article 38 protecting all original materials and use, Section 19 Revenue Act amortising costs against tax and access to the public, 2000 planning and Development act on the list of the RPS (Record of Protected Structure)

  • 1992 the building was recognised by Dublin Civic Trust as a late 17th century building.  It was reported to the relevant department and was given status – protective status under the monument and sites act and registered as a National Monument.
  • 1995 The Bord Pleanala reversed the demolition order on it.  Because of its status, an appeal was made to the word and the Bord reversed the decision by DCC and the building was vested in the ownership of the Dublin Civic Trust.
  • 1995-97 Research to prove historic and material significance – the dating of timber frame walls which are very early.  The timber dating of the early staircase to 1680. This is the only full staircase of its kind going up 4 floors with 6 turns in it – it has early pear shaped balustrades the same as the ones in the Royal Hospital.

Number 21 Aungier Street is a substantial late 17th-century mansion one of the oldest recorded buildings in the city, a structure of outstanding architectural and historical significance, built during the 1660s on lands leased by Sir Francis Aungier to Robert Reading, Esq., an influential colleague of the Duke of Ormond, and was subsequently home to the Earls of Rosse, supporters of King James II at the Battle of the Boyne.

The building is a rare surviving example in Dublin of the transition in building technology from late medieval timber framing to brick and masonry construction.

It substantially retains its original plan and layout, consisting of four rooms, arranged around a centrally positioned staircase and two massive chimney stacks, flanked by smaller closet rooms.

The internal walls are timber-framed and are similar in character to those found in Numbers 9- 9A Aungier Street, a 17th-century mansion that has more recently come to light, a building  recognised for its rarity by Dublin City Council, conservation department.

The staircase in No.21 survives intact, it rises six flights through the building, featuring squared newels, a wide heavy handrail and handsome pear-shaped balusters characteristic of the late 17th century and is the only means of accessing the upper floors.

AC34b

Original staircase before renovation

 

Renovation of the building

 

Aungier 21

21 Aungier Street in 1991

 

In 1992, planning permission was granted for demolition of the building, which was subsequently overturned by An Bord Pleanála in acknowledgement of the mansion’s outstanding architectural significance. Through Dublin Civic Trust’s intervention, (then) Dublin Corporation arranged for a site swap with the developer who had originally purchased it from the Corporation, and subsequently vested the property in Dublin Civic Trust in 1995.

The Dublin Civic Trust undertook a major year-long programme of structural stabilisation, conservation and restoration as a pioneering built heritage demonstration project, which was grant aided by Dublin Corporation and the Department of Environment.

This included extensive steel and masonry bracing, reinstating the roof, repointing the late Georgian façade of c.1810, salvaging and refurbishing all original joinery elements, lime plaster wall and ceiling repairs, and the careful reinstatement of windows to exact historic profiles. A stand-out element of the works was the meticulous consolidation and repair of the rare original staircase and timber-framed walls.

Upon completion of the essential conservation works, Dublin Civic Trust sold the property under our Revolving Fund Scheme to a private owner who undertook to complete the building and operate it as a 15-bedroom heritage guesthouse with associated café at ground floor level. The grant of permission for this use (Ref: 2678/96), which operated until approximately the year 2000, was conditioned on reasonable public access being afforded to the first-floor level, in addition to full public access at ground floor level. Under the same grant, a planning condition required an agreement to be signed under Section 38 of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act 1963 (amended) stipulating the preservation of the original staircase, original timber beams and medieval timber partitions, original free standing chimney stacks, and the restored front and rear walls. A further condition requested that “no further subdivisions of the important ground and first floors shall be permitted.”

  • On completion of the restoration in 1997 the Dublin Civic Trust – the building was launched by the then minister Liz Mc Manus – a section 38 agreement was drawn up protecting all original material identified and stating that this would not be removed or interfered with in the foreseeable future – this was signed by Dublin Corporation.
  • Section 19 under the Revenue act was obtained on the building which entitled a would-be purchaser to amortise the restoration costs against their tax liability. This was subsequently used by the new owner.

Since approximately the year 2000 Number 21 was pressed into unauthorised use as a long-term hostel providing residential accommodation for the Immigration Service, and latterly to the Department of Justice as a step-down facility for young offenders. This use was in breach of the authorised guesthouse use which afforded public access to the property and facilitated the appreciation and enjoyment of its unique heritage features.

Irish Times, March 2nd 2017: Olivia O Kelly

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/historic-monument-in-dublin-to-be-used-for-the-homeless-1.2994185

Irish Times, March 26th 2017: Olivia O Kelly

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/conversion-of-historic-dublin-building-to-homeless-hostel-stopped-1.3020461