Economic meeting just full of ‘phaff’
SECURING FUTURE MEMBERS ARE LEFT DISAPPOINTED
A SPECIAL MEETING on the economic future of County Wicklow disappointed members of Wicklow County Council on Monday when they felt the session was full of ‘phaff ’.
The meeting included presentations from Fas, Enterprise Ireland, Wicklow County Enterprise Ireland and the IDA.
Director of Service Thomas Murphy said that an enterprise unit had been established some two-and-a-half years ago to proactively promote Wicklow as a desirable location to do business.
He said that developing an enterprise centre for Bray and Greystones were also paramount as was developing Wicklow County Campus, Clermont College.
Following the presentation Cllr. George Jones said it was impressive but said that there had been ‘a terrible lot of phaff in some of the presentations’.
He said it didn’t contribute a whole lot to the discussion and said the main focus now was to plan for the future rather than looking to the past.
‘We need to plan and be ready for what’s going forward’, he said and welcomed the major developments which were currently before Wicklow County Council for consideration including the new Spanish school for Greystones.
He condemned An Bord Pleanala not only for their refusal of full planning permission for the development of the Charlesland site but for ‘sitting on the application for 19 months’.
Cllr. Thomas Cullen said the whole employment landscape of Wicklow had changed dramati- cally since the 1980s saying that agriculture and forestry were once the mainstay of the county’s employment but this had reduced considerably.
He suggested, albeit amid sniggers, to give fledging businesses five years free of water charges. ‘All industry needs water and we have lots of water. We are miles ahead of any county in this respect. We should offer free water for the first five years to start up businesses. Water is a very significant cost to businesses’, he said.
In another radical move he also suggested establishing a light railway to Blessington. ‘People can snigger and laugh but it’s time we do something.’
Cllr. Nicky Kelly said there was a ‘certain amount of hypocrisy’ about the meeting ‘given the management and some councillors had put 70 people in Abwood out of work. There probably won’t be 70 jobs created in the county this year from all these agencies’, he raged.
Cllr. Tom Fortune who had called for the meeting in the first place said that while there had been merits to the meeting it had not turned out like he envisaged.
Councillor George Jones.