Longford to reap regeneration benefits

The regeneration of Longford town will be one of Longford County Council's biggest ever undertakings, a Municipal District meeting was told last week.
The planned regeneration of Longford town and county will be one of the biggest undertakings ever shouldered by local authority chiefs.

The planned regeneration of Longford town and county will be one of the biggest undertakings ever shouldered by local authority chiefs.

Those were the soundings issued by Cllr Gerry Warnock last week as Longford Municipal District held its first meeting since the summer recess.

The Independent representative, who has repeatedly insisted in the past that Longford’s revitalisation will be his “pet project” as county cathaoirleach, provided members with an update as to how plans are progressing.

He started by referring to demolition work carried out on two houses in the Palace Crescent area of town in July, saying the hard work in restoring Longford’s economic as well as societal fortunes had only just begun.

“It was one of the first mini-wins for our regeneration project,” he said, as he reflected on the reaction from some of the estate’s long suffering residents.

“It was a memorable day and something I saw on site that day was the number of people who came out with their spades and shovels to start weeding.”

Cllr Warnock said while it had been only two months since bulldozers went off site, the results it has brought to the wider Palace Crescent and Cluain Ard areas were immense.

“The difference it has made in alleviating anti-social problems has been significant.

“Where there might have been anti-social behaviour before, that has now been totally eliminated,” he confidently asserted.

Some members, led by Cllr Mae Sexton were equally upbeat as questions were raised as to what council officials had planned following last July’s demolition work.

Administrative officer, Mark McNerney said he would consult with the head of the Council’s unfinished estates team, Terry Rooney, before updating members at next month’s meeting.

Municipal Cathaoirleach Cllr Seamus Butler meanwhile joined those in welcoming the progress which has been made since the turn of the year.

“It was a truly landmark day for the local authority to go in and deal with derelict properties in the fashion they did.

“It has given everyone a lift and if we can do it there we can do it anywhere,” he said.