Cork Greens: New car for Lord Mayor every six months sends out the 'wrong message'

Cork Greens: New car for Lord Mayor every six months sends out the 'wrong message'
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. John Sheehan, receiving the first registered Cork car for 2020 (201-C-1) from John Manning, Market Lead Ford Ireland, presented by Henry Ford & Son Ltd.Pic: Brian Lougheed

THE Lord Mayor’s car is “synonymous with the respect and high regard in which the Lord Mayor’s office is held” according to a report from the City Council.

It was in response to a motion from Green Party Councillor Colette Finn, who called for the end to the acceptance of a new Ford car for the Lord Mayor’s office every six months.

Ms Finn explained the rationale behind the call by saying that getting a new car every six months is not necessary, and that it was sending out the wrong message. She added that even changing to once a year would be progress.

The report said that a car was necessary for the Lord Mayor to adequately carry out his duties: “In tandem with the significant workload and multitude of diary engagements which are a major and critical cornerstone of the Lord Mayor’s representative duties, it is a practical prerequisite for the Lord Mayor to have access to a car to traverse the newly extended city.” It went on to say that the car is synonymous with the respect and high standing of the Lord Mayor’s office, and that the arrangement between Ford and the Lord Mayor’s Office has been in place since the 80s.

The report did, however, state that “the move to provide a hybrid car was welcomed. This is with a view to receiving a fully electric vehicle as the Ford business model evolves and is in a position to provide same, which is fully in line with the City Council’s policy on active transport.” The Director of Services also recommended that there would be no change to the current scenario.

Colette Finn said: “They don’t get it. They think I’m just a pesky Green giving out about cars.

“Everyone's in favour of the concept except when it comes to their own behaviour.

“If everyone’s walking, cycling and taking the bus, City Hall should be walking, cycling and taking the bus some of the time too.”

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