New tourism policy must be basis for marketing Cork as a single destination – Buttimer

Wednesday, 25th March 2015

  • Cork must be marketed as a single tourist destination.
  • New national tourism policy, People Place and Policy – Growing Tourism to 2025, can be the basis for new approach.

Cork must be marketed as a single destination and as the gateway to all Munster counties when it comes to attracting tourists. The new national tourism policy, People Place and Policy – Growing Tourism to 2025, which was launched this week, must be the basis marketing Cork as a single region.

The new policy provides for a central role for local authorities in marketing their region. This opportunity must be used to market Cork as a single region over the next decade. Recently there have been attempts to do this but very little has been achieved. Last year Cork INC was established but little has been heard from it. Fáilte Ireland has set up a group to put together a strategy to market Cork but it will be nine months before anything is heard about its plans. Clearly, marketing Cork as a single destination has not been treated with the urgency it deserves.

At the moment both Cork City and County Councils focus on marketing their own areas. This only leads to confusion as locals, let alone tourists, don’t realise where the boundary is between both Councils. Even the simple issue of one website for Cork hasn’t been addressed, Cork City Council uses the cork.ie and Cork County Council uses visitcountycork.com. This only adds to the confusion for anyone looking to visit Cork.

The urgency of a new approach to marketing Cork is clearly evident when the issue of the continuing decline in passenger numbers at Cork Airport is considered. If the difficulties at Cork Airport are to be addressed it requires a comprehensive marketing strategy to be in place for the entire Cork region and we must begin to sell Cork as the gateway to all southern counties. An urgent focus on marketing Cork as a single entity will help the airport and all businesses based across the county.

A new tourism policy provides the basis for a fresh approach when it comes to marketing Cork. But if this is going to be delivered then it needs to be led by Cork City Council, Cork County Council and Fáilte Ireland working with other stakeholders.

ENDS

Posted under Cork, Cork City, National Work, Tourism

Buttimer welcomes extra teaching resources for children with Down Syndrome

Wednesday, 25th March 2015

  • Extra teaching resources for children with Down Syndrome.
  • Minister for Education allocates 2.5 resource teacher hours per week to each child with Down Syndrome.

Allocating additional resource teacher support to children with Down Syndrome is very welcome and will come as a welcome relief to parents and families. This will mean that children with Down Syndrome who are not already supported through the National Council for Special Education’s (NCSE) annual allocation process will now receive 2.5 resource teacher hours each week.

Parents and families have campaigned for 10 years to bring about this change in allocating teaching resources. This announcement is testament to their efforts and recognises the needs of children with Down Syndrome. For too long parents have had to struggle to get additional learning supports for their children, this decision goes a long way to meeting the educational needs of their children.

These changes will take effect from the beginning of the next school year in September. Although an interim measure it will provide extra support when it comes to general learning difficulties experienced by children with Down Syndrome. Over the next couple of years a new model of allocating supports will be piloted and implemented. Every effort must be made to ensure that this new model will meet the needs of all children who require additional teaching support.

ENDS

Posted under Education, National Work

Need for action to address risks to children in Cork – Buttimer

Tuesday, 24th March 2015

  • Health and Information Quality Authority’s (HIQA) calls for an immediate action plan to be put in place to address risks to children in Cork.
  • Published report found that many children who have a high level of need did not all have an allocated social worker or timely access to child protection and welfare interventions.

The contents of this report are deeply worrying. Of the 27 standards assessed by HIQA, 19 required further improvement. Over 20% of children had no allocated social worker. Of these unallocated cases, there were 234 assessed as high priority (priority one), 790 medium priority (priority two) and 143 low priority status (priority three)

Due to the seriousness of these risks, the Authority has sought an immediate response and requested that arrangements be put in place to address these risks through an immediate action plan.

I urge Tusla to move quickly to put an immediate plan in place to deal with these issues.

Ends

Posted under Cork, Cork City, National Work