A request that rates applying to companies at Riverstown Business Park in Tramore be suspended or reduced for the next three years, in order to help preserve jobs, has been rejected by Town Manager Brian White.

He told Joe Conway at the Town Council’s monthly meeting that to do so would be illegal. “Besides, if the County Council doesn’t collect rates it goes out of business”, he commented, having pointed out that virtually all businesses, countywide and countrywide, were feeling the strain in the current economic climate.

However, he said everything possible would be done by way of giving the area “a facelift”, which the councillor also sought. He said the road beyond the business park would open this year, probably by September.

Mr White drew attention to the fact that additional sites were available at the complex, but there was little point putting them on the market given the number of units currently vacant there.

Cllr Conway, supported by Cllr Ann Marie Power, said the park had started out at a time of glowing optimism but some businesses within it had to make substantial job cuts and were in need of support both in terms of finance and morale.

He sought concessions in light of figures supplied by the Manager showing that since 2002 the County Council collected €2.5m from Tramore land sales, €158,000 in development charges and €89,000 in planning fees.