Minister Martin Cullen is to be invited to address Waterford City Council on issues such as Gateway innovation funding, decentralisation and the ongoing demand for a university.

That was decided at Monday night’s Council meeting at which all three matters were raised, City Manager Michael Walsh informing Cllr Seamus Ryan that there were no new developments.

He said the Gateway funding had been deferred for a decision to be made in the context of the forthcoming budget. The situation was less clear in relation to decentralisation but he hoped it would also be clarified at budget time.

Regarding the university, Cllr Mary Roche noted that the Education Minister, asked to meet them on the subject, couldn’t find the time. Her fear was that Waterford, having missed out by and large on the Celtic Tiger, would also miss out on Son of Tiger when he arrived.

“I wish the government would stop paying lip service to the knowledge economy and actually do something about it”, she said.

Mayor Jack Walsh told the members he had written to all other Mayors in the south east whose local authorities supported the university project, inviting them to a meeting next Monday night to decide how they could best effect influence in the matter.

Cllr David Cullinane pointed out that the university, the Gateway project and decentralisation formed part of the Waterford Development Plan and he recommended that, in the uncertain circumstances prevailing, the bi-annual review of the plan should be brought forward.

It was Cllr Davy Walsh who proposed that Minister Cullen be invited to talk to them and the idea received unanimous support.