A VERY WARM WELCOME IN VILLAGES, BUT IT’S COLD COMFORT IN THE TOWN
NOT suprisingly the windfall for south Wexford under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme has been warmly welcomed in an area starved of government cash for rural development.
Ballycogley, Bridgetown, Rosslare Harbour and Our Lady’s Island have between them been awarded €340,000 for projects ranging from building car parks and bird hides to planning village redevelopment schemes.
However, that’s cold comfort for Wexford town, which is not included in the list of beneficiaries.
‘It reminds me of what I said to Mary Harney when Wexford Electronix closed,’ said Cllr Davy Hynes.
‘I told her that we might as well be in Wales for all the notice they (the government) take of us,’ said Cllr Hynes.
‘It’s one thing after another...and the fact that we’re relying on Virgin Media to fix all the footpaths they are digging up to lay cables under says a lot about the state of local government funding,’ he said.
South Wexford was, however, in a different frame of mind.
Chairperson of the Ballycogley Hall Development committee Cllr Frank Staples said he was delighted at the €100,000 funding to go towards the redevelopment of the hall.
‘I would like to thank out fantastic committee for all the hard work they put into making this happen, also Wexford County Council and in particular the Community Development department.
‘ This is the result of people pulling together in our community,’ he said.
Lady’s Island resident Cllr Ger Carthy said the €100,000 funding for the village would go towards a new car park at the Community Cen- tre, a fully accessible playground adjacent to the Centre and a bird watching hide, footpaths and other small infrastructure.
Cllr Mick Roche, who lives in Bridgetown, said the €60,000 allocation was fantastic news.
‘We’ve never had any funding in any way, shape or form, so we’re heading up a hill, but heading in the right way,’ he said.
‘ This will be used for a plan for Bridgetown and hopefully next year we’ll get into village renewal again and work on thet plan from there.’
Welcoming the overall grants for the county, Wexford Mayor Cllr Jim Moore said they would make a huge difference.
‘ The very significant fundindg announcement is very welcome and in particular as Mayor of Wexford Borough District acknowledge the successful applications from the district,’ said Cllr Moore.
‘ This gives areas of rural Wexford and an opportunity to address defecits dentified which can now be dealt and help create a sustainable economic model for our rural areas. I see this as positive start to the regeneration of areas which as our economic performance nationally improves the benefits will be gained further from our urban centres,’ he said.
‘In the case of Rosslare it is extremely important that we support the community to deal with issues of failed developments and plan constuctively for the future.
‘ The Brexit factor will also create both issues and opportunities fro the area and planning for this requires both EU and national efforts but just as importantly local community support and initiatives.
‘I hope this is the beginning of the positive development of the area,’ said the Mayor.