RGDATA urges politicians to put local shops at heart of regeneration
The 3,500 local family owned shops and supermarkets that RGDATA represent are encouraged to see news reports that politicians are proposing to put wellbeing at the centre of policymaking.
RGDATA believes that a new radical approach to devising and delivery policy is required if we want to judge success in terms of social capital and community gain.
As Ireland emerges from the challenging consequences of COVID 19 government needs to develop new ways of harnessing local community engagement, says RGDATA. They say this can be done in several ways.
- Recognise the importance of SMEs within communities. Locally run and owned businesses act as major catalysts for community engagement and interaction right across the country. The recovery will be driven by SMEs who employ locally, invest within their communities and are core to the success and health of vibrant and living towns, villages and communities. SMEs need to be at the table when national policy is being debated. We need structure to include SME representatives at any national discussion on future economic and social policies.
- Put evidence based, robust structures in place to underpin how we deliver regeneration and rebuild our towns, villages, urban centres and communities. This should include a dedicated unit at the centre of Government tasked with regeneration.
- RGDATA supports a Town Centre First Policy and we support the development of new Section 28 Guidelines on Town Centres, a national co-ordination unit driving collaborative Town Centre regeneration based on Collaborative Town Centre Health Checks and evidence based revitalisation plans.
- Ambition to reimagine our town centres to deliver housing, educational, health, retail, commercial, cultural, sporting and public spaces that actively engage local citizens, deliver a vibrant community for all, local jobs and enterprises and a genuine circular economy.
- A set of output assessments which measure success on the basis of societal benefit and the creation of vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities.