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New Lord Mayor to put best foot forward

Wednesday, 17th June, 2020 3:41pm

The new Lord Mayor of Cork says he is undecided about the proposed Programme for Government as he settles into his new role.

Cllr Joe Kavanagh has taken over the chain of office from Cllr John Sheehan, and he told the Cork Independent that it’s an honour for him and his family, adding that he will be putting his best foot forward as the city’s First Citizen.

His term in office comes as his party, Fine Gael, attempt to form a government with Fianna Fáil and the Green Party. Although the role of lord mayor is apolitical, Cllr Kavanagh will still have a voice as a Fine Gael member when it comes to supporting the proposed Programme for Government.

He said: “I’m undecided about it about the moment and I’m still reading through the Programme for Government document. I’ll also be speaking to other members in my constituency to see how they feel about this and then make a decision on whether I will vote for this or not at a party level.”

He added: “However, whatever outcome we get, whether it’s this proposed Programme for Government or an election, what’s needed now more than ever is a stable and strong government that can help our country navigate through the choppy waters we are in.”

As for the next year as lord mayor, Cllr Kavanagh said he wants to focus on several topics including the centenary celebrations to show how Cork played an important role in the establishment of the Irish State.

He also wants to focus on the environment, especially deterring people from littering and fly tipping and said he will do this by talking to schools and other stakeholders.

“A clean city is a healthy city and that’s something that I’m passionate about. I’ll be talking to Tidy Town committees and other stakeholders and organisations about how we can make the city cleaner.”

The new Lord Mayor also said that a clean city will attract more tourists and that tourism is a sector he wanted to focus on too describing it as one of the “economic pillars” of the city.

He also wants to “do everything I possible can” to help the businesses in the aftermath of the lockdown and easing of restrictions.

“The business sector has taken a hammering and the city council and I, as Lord Mayor, need to help whatever way we can and do everything possible to help business like the retail sector and SMEs. If jobs are created, people can spend money locally and that’s how we can get the economy up and running again.”

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