Latest headlines from Waterford City and County.
May 16th - Cloud Computing
Following on from a wildly successful event last April, Sun Life Financial is delighted to announce that it is once again teaming up with the Technology Cluster South East (TCSE) to sponsor its second South East Tech Brew.
The South East Tech Brew is an exciting opportunity to hear from experts and practitioners about topics important to the technology community. The next event focuses on Cloud Computing. It is a free event and will be held in the Kazbar on May 16 at 7 pm.
John McAuliffe, co-founder of South East Tech Brew is particularly enthused about the May event. "We are delighted to be able give people the opportunity to hear from a diverse range of companies who are getting the most out of Cloud Computing. Our speakers will offer an insight into how companies of all sizes are successfully implementing cloud solutions, without shying away from some challenges the technology can bring." The event also aims to share a vision of the future of cloud.
The speakers on the night will be John Caulfield, Sales Consulting Director at Oracle, Dublin; Mícheál Ó Foghlú, CTO at FeedHenry; and Des O’Donohoe, Cofounder of Task Messenger.
The event is an informal format whereby three speakers are given 10 minutes each with no slides to discuss the topic and this is followed by an open discussion allowing attendees to network and share ideas. The team behind the Tech Brew, encourage all IT professionals and parties interested in the technology industry to attend. Tech Brews have been proven highly successful in Dublin and other key European hubs as a casual but productive environment to discuss timely topics in the technology industry. McAuliffe agrees, "The IT community in the South East values a forum to meet and share ideas. Companies like Sun Life, who have come on board as sponsor for this series, see the value in supporting an ecosystem that fosters innovation and collaboration; it’s a win-win for the region."
Technology Cluster South East is a voluntary group made up of key players in the technology industry, drawing its membership from business, public and private sectors across the region. The purpose is to promote the South East region as a centre for Innovation in Technology, thereby generating employment and economic income.
Sun Life Financial employs over 300 staff in Waterford, providing software development, business administration and service desk technical support. A leading financial services organisation with over 140 years experience, Sun Life Financial provides a diverse range of wealth accumulation and insurance products for a global market.
Please book your complimentary place at the event, by visiting the following link:
Register for the event at http://www.southeasttechbrew.eventbrite.com
Challenge set at ‘Building a Tourism Economy’ Conference for Waterford City
Waterford Chamber recently hosted a brand new conference entitled ‘Building a Tourism Economy’ at Dooley’s Hotel in the city. The conference hosted eight speakers with the conference opening from Redmond O’Donoghue Chairman of Failte Ireland.
Commenting on the conference turn out at the conference President of Waterford Chamber, Orm Kenny said, "We are delighted with the number of interested parties attending the conference today and inparticular the number of people very engaged in the questions and answer sessions. A vibrant tourism economy in Waterford means more opportunities for awide range of businesses through increased demand in retail, services and other sectors."
Speaking at the conference Richard Guiney CEO of Dublin City BID, the organisation charged with the promotion of Dublin city centre as a destination of choice for shopping and socializing said, "Towns and cities face immense competition and this will intensify in the coming years of the 21st century. There is a danger that we are positioning our towns and cities to fight the battles of the last century and this approach could lead to disaster. The internet accounted for 13% of non-food retail sales in 2012. This is expected to grow to 35% by 2020 and retail experts forecast that this could mean a 30% oversupply in retail space in the UK by that time. The Irish experience is likely to be similar.
The answer to this challenge is to re-imagine our towns and cities and create destinations of choice, places where people want and choose to be. This will necessitate the integration of the leisure and retail economies in our towns and the creation of an experience that will appeal to both the indigenous population and tourists alike. We need to get this right to future proof our locations, in this regard failure is not an option. We don’t have time to spare so we need to get the private and public sectors working together in a coordinated way to gain and retain vibrancy on our streets." Richard concluded.
Tim Manson Operations & Policy Director, Marketing Birmingham whom has strategic responsibility for securing and monitoring return on investment of the company’s public sector funding. This includes the management of its current £17.7million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project, one of the largest of its kind in the UK. Speaking at the conference Tim outlined the steps Birmingham, England had taken to transform the city and how it had grown its visitor economy from nothing in 1975 to one that welcomes 30million visitors, hosts 38% of the UK’s meeting, supports 60,000 jobs and generates £4.1bn of economic impact, the key messages where around clear vision, focus on what is achievable, research lead and a clear remit with other agencies.
Gary Breen, Head of Operations at Fáilte Ireland, spoke about the lessons Waterford can learn from the many Historic Cities across the world that are working to differentiate themselves and develop their inherent appeal. While highlighting that Waterford’s ‘differentiator’, in an international tourism context, is and will be the Viking Triangle, he pointed out that the associated spend of additional visitors to the city will be felt throughout the city in its shops, bars, restaurants and hotels.
Waterford is right to exploit the potential of the Viking Triangle since evidence shows that heritage neighbourhoods create distinctiveness which can benefit the destination as a whole. Part of this is about developing heritage anchors and the new museums in Waterford are a stunning asset.
Lessons from great destinations elsewhere show how good use of public spaces, creating ‘animation’ in the streets, building on the events programme and developing a strong and memorable brand will all help the city to grow its reputation as a top destination in Ireland and maximise income from visitors.
Other speakers at the conference included Waterford City Manager, Michael Walsh and Ciaran Cullen from Waterford City Enterprise Board.
Residents in Waterford will be annoyed to hear that they could be hit with a 15% increase in the property tax as early as next year, after the local elections, according Waterford Fianna Fáil Cllr Gary Wyse.
Cllr Wyse has said it was widely understood in the minds of the public that both the house valuation and the rate of tax to be paid would be fixed for three years. However, the Revenue Commissioners have confirmed that Fine Gael and Labour have put in a provision for local authorities to raise the tax by between €60 and €75 on an average home in Waterford.
A property valued between €200,000 - €250,000 will pay €405 in tax in 2014 which could increase to €466 in 2015 while the tax on a property valued between €250,000 - €300,000 could increase from €495 to almost €570.
Cllr Wyse commented: "I think people will be really angry about this, it’s a very sneaky move by the Government. The booklet on the property tax was very misleading. It created the impression that the property tax would remain the same for three years. Disposable incomes are being targeted time and time again by this government, while Fine Gael refuses to even consider higher taxes for high earners. The message I am hearing from people couldn’t be clearer, they cannot take any more," concluded Cllr Wyse.
At Kilcash Wood, Clonmel, Tipperary.
Meet Sunday 26th May at 1.30pm in Kilcash Village Family day with Poetry, Music and readings by local artists, musician’s activists & others.
The Irish government is giving away our natural resources. Oil and Gas exploration licences have been handed out to big multi nationals under terms that mean the Irish people do not gain jobs, a revenue stream or security of supply. Practices with serious environmental consequences, such as fracking, are not ruled out under law.
The harvesting rights to our forests are under threat of being sold off to the highest bidder.
This threatens access rights of the Irish people to walk in our forests and endangers the sustainability of our woodlands as they will be exploited for quick sale of timber.
Our water is about to be privatised. The first move has been to transfer the administration of the water services to a new semi state Irish Water and next year water charges will be introduced. When water was privatised in the north o England, the area experienced its first ever water shortages!
Fishing in Ireland has been destroyed by huge multi-national trawlers, aided and abetted by EU quota regulations, plundering our waters. What we need is a sustainable fisheries policy that protects the livelihoods of small fishermen and allows local fishing industry to flourish creating jobs and protecting a valuable natural resource.
The mismanagement and privatisation of our natural resources has a detrimental impact on the environment, jobs and our economy. Decisions are regularly made with regards to our natural resources without any public consultations, which are required under EU law. There is no serious plan for a programme of major public investment to develop renewable energies..
Ireland is in an unprecedented economic crisis. Our natural resources have enormous potential for jobs and economic growth as would a national project to develop renewable energies.
A Walk in the Woods is a family day out to show solidarity with the campaign to stop the sell-off of Ireland’s forests and is one of many nationally organised events to keep the issue highlighted until we get a definitive commitment from the Government not to sell off our forests.
All welcome, bring raingear and suitable footwear.
Organised by Natural resources Protection Alliance & The Woodland League
Farmers Feed Families is a campaign launched on May 8th to highlight the importance of farmers in Waterford and the rest of Ireland. There is a significant disconnection between the work that Irish farmers do and the food that people buy in supermarkets and Farmers Feed Families aims to bridge that connection.
The first stage of the campaign is set to run from May through to September.
Farmers are the backbone of the agricultural industry in Ireland. Irish food is promoted and eaten every day all over the world. This is down to the hard work and dedication of our farmers. This is the beginning of the Farmers Feed Families nationwide branding campaign focused on spreading the Farmers Feed Families message among farm families and the wider community. The first initiative will begin later in May and is called ‘Tweeting Farmers’. This will involve farmers in different sectors tweeting about their daily routines – shining a light, for those who don’t know, on the running of an Irish farm. Farmers Feed Families are currently looking for farmers interested in taking part in this initiative. The Farmers Feed Families message will also be spread online through social media and videos, and at festivals throughout the summer.
Feed provided by Waterford Today