Delay over public lighting concerns

Ongoing works in one of north Longford’s largest industrial estates have been dealt a blow as a consequence of government cutbacks, it has emerged.

Ongoing works in one of north Longford’s largest industrial estates have been dealt a blow as a consequence of government cutbacks, it has emerged.

Councillors were told at last week’s meeting of Granard Town Council that local authority staff are not in a position to install much needed public lighting inside the town’s Teemore Industrial estate because of vastly reduced budgets.

Town Manager Ciaran Murphy confirmed Department of Environment officials have opted to trim monies provided to county councils for public lighting due to rising maintenance costs.

Responding to a question from Town Mayor, Cllr PJ Reilly concerning the scheme’s long term future, Mr Murphy said the council’s hands were very much tied.

And in a further insight, the county council senior executive highlighted just how much money was having to go towards overseeing public lighting up and down the county.

“It is suspended,” he replied. “There was no money coming from development levies. Every light is costing about €120 to €125 a year to maintain.”

Expressing his own concerns at the news, Cllr Tommy Stokes asked whether financial support could be drawn from another area in an attempt to appease locally based business owners.

“It’s a pity that it (estate) is not complete. I know of the problems that are up there, but could we perhaps take some money out of somewhere else,” he said.

However, area engineer Eamon Bennett urged caution on making any drastic changes, saying the move could have a negative impact on other locally based projects.

“Are you going to put Teemore Industrial Estate ahead of Barrack Lane as a priority?” he asked a ponderous looking Cllr Stokes.

“You have no funding, so you have to have a priority list.”

The issue is likely to be debated further at the town council’s next meeting at the beginning of May.