County Hall a re­minder of coun­cil’s ser­vices

Irish Examiner - County - - News - CLLR DE­CLAN HUR­LEY

Iremember as a child trav­el­ling past County Hall and look­ing up won­der­ing what was in­side. Never did I im­age that I would come to rep­re­sent the peo­ple of West Cork as a coun­cil­lor within that build­ing but that I would be Mayor on the 50th an­niver­sary of its of­fi­cial open­ing.

County Hall was la­belled dis­tinc­tive, mod­ern and reach­ing. What a great way to de­scribe a build­ing and this was 50 years ago. This is ev­i­dent in the ex­hi­bi­tion that I was priv­i­leged to launch on the day. The story of Cork County Hall is told in In­cep­tion to Com­ple­tion plus there are some fan­tas­tic nostal­gic images for all to en­joy.

Im­por­tantly, County Hall has con­tin­ued to reach. We, as a coun­cil, have con­tin­ued to reach. We are a demo­crat­i­cally rep­re­sen­ta­tive body, the largest out­side of Dublin. We play a key role in de­ci­sion mak­ing for lo­cal ar­eas in terms of lo­cal ser­vices, com­mu­nity sup­ports, pol­icy de­vel­op­ment, land use, town and vil­lage de­vel­op­ment.

County Hall re­minds peo­ple of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and the ser­vice they pro­vide. We may of­ten be chal­lenged but we never stop. We op­er­ate in the pub­lic in­ter­est. We bring re­spon­si­bil­ity to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

We are here for the peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties of Cork. Com­mu­ni­ties are the heart of our so­ci­ety. They are the places where we live and work, where fam­i­lies and friends are and where we in­ter­act with life. We are drawn to live and work within com­mu­ni­ties that re­flect our core val­ues.

Cork County Hall is in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked with com­mu­ni­ties. As Mayor, I have great pride in meet­ing com­mu­ni­ties and wel­com­ing them to County Hall. Mayor’s awards, civic re­cep­tions, the groups that we work with ev­ery day; ev­ery­one, young and old is a part of County Hall.

Like most things in life we move and evolve with the times and so has Cork County Hall. The former mo­tor tax build­ing is now home to our busi­ness growth hub and a va­ri­ety of eco­nomic sup­ports to busi­nesses and en­trepreneurs across Cork. One of these ini­tia­tives is Taste Cork which aims to cre­ate a thriv­ing food net­work for the re­gion by link­ing and pro­mot­ing pro­duc­ers, retailers, food­ser­vice op­er­a­tors and dis­trib­u­tors.

Taste Cork re­cently trav­elled to the an­nual Food and Drink Expo at the Ber­ming­ham NEC, one of the big­gest food and drink events in Europe where Cork pro­duc­ers were able to show­case their goods to in­dus­try ex­perts from all over the world. It’s only when you travel to events such as this that you re­alise how in­cred­i­ble some of our sup­pli­ers and pro­duc­ers are. We have ac­cess to amaz­ing in­gre­di­ents and crafts­peo­ple who cre­ate some of the most de­li­cious food items I have ever tasted!

Cork re­ally is the culi­nary cap­i­tal of Ire­land and with events such as this, we can pro­mote our amaz­ing of­fer­ing on a global platform, en­abling the cre­ation of lo­cal jobs and lo­cal suc­cesses, the ul­ti­mate goal for the busi­ness growth hub.

While I am com­ment­ing on busi­nesses and en­ter­prise I must again men­tion the is­sues fac­ing farm­ers at this time. We have ex­pe­ri­enced one of the worst win­ters in liv­ing mem­ory which has re­sulted in a se­vere fod­der short­age for farm­ers. The ground is sat­u­rated and where an­i­mals would nor­mally be out in grass at this time they can­not. Feed that was made last sum­mer is gone so many de­pend on what is be­ing im­ported from the UK as part of the govern­ment ef­forts to as­sist.

I would like to say to any farmer read­ing this to know that there are sup­ports out there. As a farmer, I com­pletely un­der­stand the stress this is caus­ing. Not only is the an­i­mal part of their liveli­hood but it is a liv­ing be­ing. Farm­ers want to see their an­i­mals con­tent and happy. I am ask­ing farm­ers to not only look after their an­i­mals but also them­selves and each other.

Like most dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances this will pass and there are sup­ports there to help. Please avail, and I guar­an­tee it will help.

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