Launch of 'Longford Centred and Connected', l to r; Danny Lynch, Christine Collins, Paddy Mahon, Cllr Peggy Nolan and John McKeon Picture: Shelley Corcoran
The first ever digital strategy prepared by Longford County Council has been launched. 'Longford Centred and Connected' will coordinate all activities for the development of a collaborative digital society and economy over a three-year period ending in 2023.
The strategy, which was adopted by the members of Longford County Council will create the foundation and set the direction for digital development in the county over the coming decade.
It sets out Longford County Council’s ambitions and aspirations on meeting the current requirements and future digital demands of the people of Longford. It aims to empower them to take part in the digital transformation of the county.
The strategy will also help to enable people to benefit from the enhanced connectivity and infrastructure being rolled out across the county.
The digital strategy prioritises four key themes:
· digital infrastructure and connectivity,
· smart communities,
· digital economy and enterprise and
· digital transformation.
These key themes, together with the action plan, will be continually monitored and updated to adapt to the evolving requirements and trends within county Longford.
Welcoming the launch of 'Longford Centred and Connected', Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr Peggy Nolan paid tribute to the work being led by the IT Section of Longford County Council. “We can see from the roll out of broadband connection points around the county and the free WIFI that has been made available in our towns and villages, that Longford is now a leading light when it comes to rural connectivity and digital infrastructure and this digital strategy is a welcome blueprint for how we will build on that in the coming years.”
Chief Executive Paddy Mahon agreed. “This strategy guides us in our digital transformation of Longford’s infrastructure and capabilities, encouraging sustainable vibrant communities and making Longford a better place in which to live, work and do business.”
A series of consultations was undertaken to inform the strategy, with key local and national stakeholders including the general public, businesses, non-profit organisations and more. This engagement proved invaluable, especially following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic created a unique set of circumstances which, through necessity, raised the requirement and demand for digital connectivity to a critical level.
Longford County Council seized the opportunity to deliver on these demands and was the first local authority in Ireland to hold meetings of its elected members digitally, allowing the vital business of local government to continue throughout the pandemic.
Broadband Officer for Longford County Council Christine Collins said, “The Digital Strategy was developed to facilitate our citizens to live, work and participate locally. Longford County Council is committed to supporting the creation and sustainability of vibrant, progressive rural communities. Having connectivity is having choice.”
Head of Information Systems Mr Danny Lynch concluded by stating, “Supporting the digital enablement of communities through this strategy is reflected in the digital transformation of IT services within Longford County Council, placing our council at the heart of the promotion of the digital agenda within county Longford. It also puts Longford on the map as an ideal base for skilled remote workers who are seeking the enhanced quality of life that is on offer outside of Dublin.”
Longford County Council is delighted to confirm that its Strategy and Guidance Documents on Rural Working Hubs has now been shortlisted for two separate awards.
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