It has emerged this week that the future of Longford VEC’s proposed sub office will rest solely in the hands of the new CEO when the appointment is announced in the New Year.
Already plans are in place to relocate 19 Longford staff to the newly amalgamated facility in Mullingar. However, Deputy James Bannon said this week that he was of the opinion that staff would remain in Longford. “Particularly welcome is the news that the staff will remain in Longford,” he said, adding that the matter was subject to ratification by the incoming CEO, but, nonetheless, he could see “no obvious difficulty”. “I expect the decision on the appointment of the new CEO and committee to be taken early in the New Year and look forward to working with them. While it was disappointing that Longford was not chosen as the headquarters of the new Longford/Westmeath VEC, the premises is on a 21 year lease and the staff are in place. Longford is therefore ideally set up as a location for a sub-office and continuing its long association with the VEC.”
Meanwhile, Rosemary Killian Johnston, Acting CEO, Longford VEC confirmed to the Leader on Tuesday morning that there was no evidence to suggest – at this stage – that staff would remain in Longford and indicated that she “remained hopeful” that the incoming CEO would insist on the retention of a VEC sub office in Longford town. “We had a meeting last week with Niall Ward, Adviser to the Minister for Education and Deputy James Bannon TD was there also,” Ms Killian Johnston explained. “At the moment any future plans for a sub office in Longford will be decided upon by the new CEO, whenever he or she is appointed. It would certainly be hoped that a sub office will operate from Longford and with regard to staff, once again that decision will be made by the new CEO.”
Ms Killian Johnston also confirmed to the Leader that the department had yet to select the new CEO of Longford/Westmeath VEC.