But, we now know that we were sold a pup.
The second lab would not be forthcoming and to appease those Deise hordes, it was announced in Dublin, that a mobile unit would be diverted down the M9, to UHW and used to take up the “Slack”. Unfortunately, this mobile unit cannot, at the moment, seem to find its way to Waterford. To add insult to injury, this unit would be “Shared” with other just as needy regions. A big kick in the teeth to us on this matter, from Simon H!
But there would be light at the end of our dark tunnel.
We could, in the short term, forget not securing a second Catheterisation Laboratory, as good news was in fact, just around the corner. Waterford in recent weeks, has bounced back, in a big way. Wonderful, joyous and fantastic news that a €300,000,000 development of the City’s North Quays, would categorically take place, with investment of many, many Middle Eastern Riyal. In fact we would get TWO retail centres built for the price of one – happy days are ahead.
This news, in conjunction with the 2040 National Planning Framework, announced by Minister Simon C, would see accelerated development of our Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), to help double the City’s population. At last we could collectively take a breath and it now looked like Government was listening to the people of Waterford. They were actually going to put their hand in their collective pockets, to find some much needed fiscal money, to feed our economy.
Just like London buses, a third piece of good news landed on our doorstep. That hotel on the hill had finally been sold. The promise of a five star development, garden rooftop bars, largest function suite in Waterford, conference space....the list was endless.
Were we finally beginning to turn the corner? Waterford was surely on the up, or are we?
Amid much whooping and hollering we have to remember that to develop our North Quay’s SDZ we need Government money. Some say €50 million, but in Ireland that probably means that what is needed could well be in excess of €60 million, possibly €70 million. This loosening of the exchequer purse strings will not be easy. It will not be without its challenges and rest assured the political “Flat cap” clout from other regions will be doing their very, very best to divert this money elsewhere.
The bottom line is, that unless this money for the earmarked infrastructural work in our SDZ is not signed, sealed and delivered by Government. Where is this money to come from?
Waterford Council certainly do not have the funds, or the means to allocate anywhere near this level of funding. I suspect that our nearest neighbours in Kilkenny and Wexford will not be too much help either? So we are once again relying on a Government whose track record in supporting Waterford INC is to say the very least sketchy.
We have recently had one Simon saying “Yes” and one Simon saying “No”. A bit like that game we used to play as kids. An outcome completely randomly based on chance.
Does Simon C really want Waterford City to stand any chance of doubling its population, for the betterment of the whole of the South East? Will he really get Old Father Time (Noonan), to open his dusty wallet and find €50/ €60/€70 million for this City?
The very recent delivery record for Waterford has been extremely poor. The onus is on our Junior Minister, 3 TDs and 2 Senators to now earn their stripes.