Members of Kerry County Council have adopted a draft plan for the economic and social development of the county over the next six years.
The County Kerry Local Economic and Community Plan will be placed on public display before it is formally adopted. Director of Services Michael Scannell said the report reflects the new role of the local authority in leading the social and economic development of the county since the reform of Local Government. The County Kerry Local Economic and Community Plan outlines that one in every five jobs and businesses in the county depends on tourism. The draft plan also notes the importance of agriculture, which employs over 5,600 people. Director of Services Michael Scannell told the April meeting of Kerry County Council the plan was based on three pillars; economy, quality of life and social inclusion. Almost 43,000 people are employed in Kerry but the county is more reliant on agriculture and tourism than any other county in the State. Kerry also has its highest population since 1926 but there have been significant population shifts like the movement of people from town centres to the suburbs. Mr Scannell noted that one of the challenges would be restoring life into town centres. Chief executive of Kerry County Council Moira Murrell assured members the report would not be left gathering dust and there would be a ‘very strict’ oversight by council management and elected members. Mr Scannell said its main theme was greater collaboration and cooperation among the various organisations.