Social Democrats Councillor Ronan Moore has called on Meath County Council to explore the feasibility of creating a Night-Time Mayor role to help the local economy recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

Cllr Moore explained:

“The night-time and evening economy – our cafes, restaurants, clubs, pubs, galleries, theatres, exhibitions and all those events that take place from 5pm until the following morning – is an often overlooked but very important sector in our society. Aside from the cultural benefits it creates for people living in the area, it provides significant employment and revenue for the council.

“Night-Time Mayors help create plans for our county in developing cultural and monetary growth in these sectors. They can assist struggling venues or small start-up venues and foster new ideas, initiatives, exhibitions and shows in the county.

“This increased revenue not only adds employment and revenue to the county, it in effect pays for the role itself.”

Cllr Moore added:

“While Covid-19 has impacted hugely on this sector, it is worth noting that in some European cities, such as Amsterdam, where this position was first brought in, it was done to arrest the decline in the night-time economy. Accordingly, it would seem to make sense that in getting our own sector back off the ground, such a role would help boost this.

“This sector can be very dynamic and issues can arise that sometimes need multi-stakeholder input, from local residents to business associations and local groups to gardaí. However, a Night-Time Mayor could act as a lynchpin in bringing these groups together.

“In proposing this motion I am glad to see the Council’s support in this area by helping Navan attain a Purple Flag, which is a standard of excellence in this sector. I am aware that the minister responsible for this area has created a Night-Time Economy Taskforce to explore this proposal. However, I don’t think, as a county, we should be waiting on a national taskforce before exploring this idea ourselves.”

September 11, 2020

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