RENTAL properties in the greater Kinsale area appear to be unaffordable or unavailable for many workers, according to commuter statistics compiled by FF local election candidate Dermot Brennan.
Running in the Bandon/ Kinsale area, he has examined commuting statistics for the area from Census 2016 and said: ‘In 2016 there were 519 commuters who lived in the electoral division of Bandon but worked elsewhere. There were 1,268 commuters who travelled in to this electoral division to work. This resulted in a net flow of 749 commuters. A similar tale is experienced for Kinsale, with a positive net flow of people commuting,’ the candidate said.
A teacher working in Clonakilty, he said he was ‘saddened by the hollowing-out of villages as there is a lack of work outside of tourism-related industries, food processing and farming.’
Pointing to the likes of Timoleague and Courtmacsherry, he said that many of the young people settled there do not work there but commute.
‘With the difficulty in planning permissions, many are choosing to settle closer to the city instead where opportunities to work and live are greater.’
Overall, he said it is important to take a ‘nuanced’ view of commuting figures.
‘Bigger urban areas like Bandon and Kinsale do provide economic opportunities for people living within them, but small commuter settlements closer to the city area are typical dormitory settlements with infrastructural deficits, including the need for light rail infrastructure,’ he said. ‘These new commuter settlements were built without any serious thought to how they would evolve or plan into anything else. Indeed when we look at the issues of water, sewerage and crumbling transport infrastructure, satellite settlements like Crossbarry and Belgooly have perhaps greater concerns than where people work. However, we do need more industry and economic opportunity to be located to areas to give people an opportunity to work and live closer together. Better broadband could give people better opportunities to work from home.’
He said villages like Timoleague and Courtmacsherry need more supports to grow indigeous businesses.
‘Wifi infrastructure is poor and needs upgrading to allow tourism-related start-up businesses to grow. Pontoons are neglected and need funding so sailing businesses can grow. In other words, investment is needed otherwise people will look for opportunities elsewhere,’ he said, pledging to look at the issues behind the figures, if elected.