Longford’s newest Town councillor-elect, Denis Hughes hopes to reopen that Pandora’s Box of local politics by seeking a fact-finding mission on paid parking in the town.
“There’s no doubt the price of paid parking is one of the biggest issues, or at least the perception of it is amongst the people of this county. Obviously, I have to go in to the Town Council and see what the finances allow but I would be calling for a survey of how other towns are doing it at the moment.”
Mr Hughes could not recall the exact point he became involved in the Fine Gael party, saying it was a more organic process as both his mother and father were staunch party supporters. Having lost out on a seat narrowly in the 2009 Local Elections, Mr Hughes plans on dedicating all his time to politics.
Now retired, the former Maxol area manager said he is committed fully to helping as many people as he can.
“I won’t be found wanting; I plan on being a full-time politician. I have a few ideas but I want to get into the Council and see what the financial situation is like, and hopefully I will be inspired by a few new ideas in the future,” Mr Hughes added.
Pointing out the number of vacant premises in Longford Town as another issue he intends on tackling, Mr Hughes believes the Council and the landlords need to sit down and discuss the situation.
“We should look at some incentive to get businesses into some of these premises rent free for a trial period of six to nine months and in return the Council should look at waiving some of the rates for a year or two,” Mr Hughes said positively.
Asked if he intends on running again next time the local elections come up in 2014, Mr Hughes was adamant he would.
“The support I’ve got from people since has been fantastic. I even got a call from former Shannonside reporter Oliver Muldoon (from Australia), just showing you how news travels fast and that there’s still a lot of people all over the world interested in this town.”