IF the Naas Shopping Centre had opened as expected retailers would be less inclined to move to Monread.
Naas Mayor Willie Callaghan says he has huge sympathy for anybody who is forced to close down but this is largely due to the prevailing economic circumstances.
“It must be very hard for somebody to lose a business but it is the times we are living in and we see it all the time across the country. I accept that pay parking is a problem but it is easy to blame the town council and in many cases problems are down to financial difficulties being experienced by the business,” Cllr. Callaghan told the Leader.
He said there is a lot of negative spin coming out about pay parking and he claimed that two of those who contributed to the recent Joe Duffy Show programme on RTE Radio (which was critical of the town council) operate private car parks where vehicles are clamped.
He said the council is working with North Kildare Chamber and traders in the town and plans are already being made about what can be done to maximise Christmas trading in Naas.
“The Christmas shopping season will start earlier and it will be advertised and with signage. There will be free parking. As a council we are trying our best and we work with the business people.”
He noted that when the Tesco centre was first mooted business people in the town were not concerned.
“The effects might have been counteracted if the Naas Shopping Centre opened with an anchor tenant,” he added.
- Paul O’Meara