21 Nov 2006

Well, we’re not exactly the new Myspace, but we’re up and running. Many thanks to all who contacted me during the past week, signed up for the newsletter and left comments. Thanks also to Mary Flynn in Galway County Council for pointing out that (contrary to what one might have been lead to believe in the Dispatch) there are some good, solid, positive thinking people working within local authority system. This of course is true. Without the help of Rosie Webb, Rose Ryall, Seamus Butler and many others we (that is, Sideline Productions) would never have been able to put Community Challenge together for RTE (the last episode of the series went out last night).

Councillor Mary Green, Mayor of County Waterford, hoped the Dispatch wouldn’t become a vehicle for bashing planning departments and local officials. I’d make two points in response: firstly, there is a phenomenal level of dissatisfaction amongst the general public with the planning system. Over the past week I’ve received letters and emails from people who have awful stories to tell about their experiences. The hue and cry is so great that it can no longer be ignored. Secondly, I’ve been amazed at the number of Councillors and other elected officials who have contacted me to express their dissatisfaction with how planning and development is being conducted within their local areas. In other words, most of the sharpest criticism of planning officials has come from local councillors themselves.

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