Posted by: stopbungalowchaos | July 20, 2009

An Bord Snip Nua Propose Massive Cuts to Rural Ireland

So the Chickens have finally come home to Roost?

The Government’s Expenditure Review Body has recommended massive cuts to services to rural Ireland. Why? The simple answer is that these services are massively resource intensive, inefficient and expensive and due to Ireland’s spectacular economic collapse we can no longer afford these services. Such is the understandable ire in rural Ireland, the IFA had no trouble getting 7,000 people onto the streets of Cavan at the weekend.

Now, 396,000 one-off isolated rural households of over 1 million people are going to be without massively reduced services and infrastructure. This will have catastrophic impacts on rural society, the rural economy and the rural environment.

However, these costs are directly as a result of continued electoral pandering for isolated one-off housing and policies tolerating dispersed settlement sprawl. The link between dispersed settlement patterns and the spiralling costs of public services and infrastructure cannot be more clear . Now ironically, the very people who benefitted most from effectively state subsidised luxury housing and externalised user costs are those who will suffer most. Perhaps if we had practicsed some ‘tough love’ through our policies our economy would be in better shape and, as a result, rural Ireland would not be subject to these savage cuts.

The main cuts to rural Ireland include:

* Reduce expenditure on the Disadvantaged Area Compensatory Allowance Scheme by 30% – €66m

* Cuts to road maintenance – €20m

* Cuts to regional air services – €15m

* Axing the Rural Transport Scheme – €11

* Merging of smaller primary schools – €25m

* Cuts to school transport – €25m

* Cuts to road maintenance – €20m

* Cuts to regional air services – €15m

* Axing the Rural Transport Scheme – €11

 

Posted by: stopbungalowchaos | July 16, 2009

Welcome!

Stop Bungalow Chaos (The Campaign for Sensible Rural Development) is a not-for-profit voluntary campaign group which has been established with the sole purpose of promoting national awareness of the economic, social and environmental issues associated with rural ‘one –off’ dispersed housing in Ireland and to mobilise mainstream momentum for a radically changed policy approach. Despite persistent public discourse about the issue in recent years, progress on formulating an appropriate policy strategy to deal with the issue has been paralysed by absolutist positions together with the often highly emotional, irrational and political nature of the debate. Indeed the last Oireachtas Environment Sub-Committee to discuss this simply issued a menu of policy recommendations that satisfied everyone and concluded that more research needed to be undertaken. This effectively perpetuated the shibboleth of the past – inaction.

The deregulated proliferation of one-off housing is amongst the most important and most misunderstood social, environmental and economic issues in Ireland. Ireland is unique in Europe in that it continues to positively mandate through public policy a highly dispersed rural settlement pattern which has for the most part no economic connection to its rural hinterland. Notwithstanding all other national policy which aims to achieve compact settlement patterns together with the entirely obvious and predictable implications this will have for the future of Irish society, there has to date been surprisingly little impetus at both national and local political levels to address this inherent inconsistency in national policy. There is a general perception that there are no opportunity costs associated with one-off rural housing and consequently nothing is sacrificed i.e. who could be against it? As a result, a politically opportunist ‘head in the sand approach’ approach has prevailed within official society which has gently avoided the issue. We know from recent events in other spheres of Irish society that this attitude has ultimately not served us well.

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Stop Bungalow Chaos Team

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