The opening of a new community house in one of Longford town’s oldest estates has been hailed as a major factor in curbing anti-social behaviour.
The house, recently unveiled in the Springlawn area of town, now plays host to daily education classes and activity mornings for local residents.
Longford Town Council’s Suzanne Duffy told last week’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting plans were presently being made to incorporate homeowners and tenants from adjoining residential areas.
“We have opened a community house in Springlawn which is a big success,” she said, stopping to reveal a full-time caretaker had also recently been recruited.
One potential stumbling block, she added, was the fact additional financial support from central government had failed to materialise. This, Ms Duffy said, would have proved beneficial in dealing with the relatively high numbers of houses that continue to lie vacant in the estate.
“The only problem is that 20 per cent of the estate is still vacant although we are trying to re-let the houses when they come back into stock as quickly as we can,” she pointed out.
Despite those difficulties, Ms Duffy confirmed the council remained intent on presssing ahead with a renewed bid, a statement which was similarly endorsed by Town Clerk Dan Rooney.
In response to a question from Cllr Tony Flaherty about perhaps seeking monies under regeneration grants, Mr Rooney revealed the only locally based project to meet the approval of government chiefs was Granard Town’s Trumra Road area.
As councillors, one by one, welcomed the news, Supt Denis Shields said there was much to admire about the move.
“The house in Springlawn, I think it is very proactive public adminstration by the council to have that house open. There has been great feedback from our community police and I have to say it is an excellent initiative,” he said.