Council’s ‘clear as mud’ response not impressing Bawnogue SC business owners
By Maurice Garvey
DESPITE South Dublin County Council’s ownership of a unit in Bawnogue Shopping Centre, businesses there are disappointed the local authority contributes nothing in management fees.
Sinn Féin councillor Mark Ward asked the council to make a contribution at the recent Clondalkin area committee meeting, but was left unimpressed by the response, which he called “as clear as mud.”
Cllr Ward said: “They said they would maybe revisit it at the next area committee, but they haven’t agreed to pay any fees. They’re looking to sell the unit, get in a new tenant, and for them to take responsibility.
“I was hoping the council would step up to the plate. Businesses pay €1,200 in management fees, that’s all they were looking for. In fairness, they are good shopkeepers [to existing retali units], and provide a great service to the community.”
The North Clondalkin centre has suffered robberies and intimidation in recent years, but businesses have worked hard to retain a sense of community spirit, and fear the appearance of the Bawnogue facility can act as a disincentive for shoppers.
A spokesperson for Bawnogue Shopping Centre businesses said the council “hasn’t met the centre halfway.”
“In all the years SDCC have been here, they haven’t done anything to help,” he said
“We’re trying to run a business, but people are not going to come in if the place is dirty. SDCC are a landlord here, we pay commercial rates, and what do we get for that – nothing.
“They could maintain the hedges and trees, which are on council land and growing into the centre, but it took a lot of work to get a small bit done at the front. Saying they might revisit paying fees at a future meeting, is just passing the buck.”
In response to Cllr Ward’s request at the Clondalkin area meeting, a spokesman for the SDCC said: “The management of the Bawnogue Unemployed Group have recently contacted the council to surrender this property.
“Arrangements are in hand to accept handover of the premises in the coming weeks.”