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Boyd Barrett high street office plan thwarted

HE may promote himself as the people's champion but Richard Boyd Barrett has been slapped down by local businesses in Dun Loaghaire.

Plans by the TD for a constituency office on the town's main street have hit a roadblock after business representatives voice their objections.

The former Dun Laoghaire Rathdown councillor wants to set up shop on Lower Georges Street where a shop would be transformed into a constituency office.

But the scheme has already been thwarted by the local Chamber and the Business Association. Businesses are afraid that if a political office is established in the main street of the seaside town, it would put off any retailers from opening shops in the area.

Retail representatives said that it would "weaken the retail strength and attractiveness of the town". The Dun Laoghaire Business Association said that it was objecting to it because it was an "inappropriate to use a Prime Retail High Street Outlet for a constituency office, given the efforts of the traders to promote retail use for all high street premises".



SUIT

They recognised that while there was a need for political organisations to cater for their electorate, it also felt that "a precedent could be set that could lead to other political entities following suit, further diluting the retail offer making it even more difficult to attract retailers that would benefit the entire community".

Hal Ledford, CEO of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber, said that they supported Mr Boyd Barrett's goal of opening a constituency office in the town but had some reservations.

clairemurphy@herald.ie