Down Memory Lane in Longford: Privatisation calls rejected

Story of the week from November 6th, 1987

Longford Leader

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Calls for the privatisation of a number of Urban Council functions were strongly rejected by Urban councillors when they met last week with the local Chamber of Commerce to discuss the forthcoming Book of Estimates.

Chamber of Commerce members have been extremely concerned for some time at the fact that rates in Longford have doubled since 1982 and they requested a meeting with the UDC to put forward proposals.

Despite the fact that the Chamber of Commerce sought a meeting with the Urban Council they only put forward one concrete proposal, that of privatisation, which  was rejected out of hand.

Christy Warnock said privatisation was being “bandied about” as a solution to all the Council's ills when exactly the opposite was true.

Frank Berry, Chamber of Commerce, said that some of the functions of the UDC like refuse collections and house building could be put out to tender as a means of increasing revenue.

Brendan McDermott said there were plenty of examples of privatisation in Longford and they were “no credit” to anyone. “Look at College Park, it is one of the biggest cock-ups ever built in this town and Glack is another example.

Cllr McDermott said if private individuals “see a buck to be made they'll make it and then go” whereas the Council had “a certain committment” to the area.

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