Saturday 21 September 2019

Jobs minister meeting planned

A meeting is being sought with the Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor over recent reports highlighting how the south east region is among the poorest nationally.

Cllr Michael Sheehan said the South East Monitor Report and other reports have consistently shown how the south east area and County Wexford in particular, lags behind other regions in socio economic indicators and is the third poorest county nationally.

Cllr Sheehan also called for a task force to be established for the south east region.

He said there are several issues which need to be addressed from broadband to Enterprise Ireland and the IDA attracting companies to the county.

Cllr Larry O'Brien said: 'Do you not think there are enough task forces set up in this county.'

'Name them,' replied Cllr Sheehan.

Cllr George Lawlor said a task force is needed for the establishment of a third level college in Wexford.

He said: 'There is a reason we are the third poorest county. It's from years of neglect. Who is going to invest in New Ross when you are stuck for one and a half hours outside of the town, and who'll invest in Enniscorthy when you're stuck for an hour outside it in traffic and when you get in it's probably flooded.'

Cllr Lawlor said a task force is needed to examine rebuilding the county after years of neglect, following massive investment from the Labour and Fine Gael Government over the past two years.

Chairman Cllr Paddy Kavanagh said: 'I'm sure the executive here is working to capitalise on where we are going. I would be reluctant to share our good fortune with other counties.'

Cllr Deirdre Wadding said councillors need to think bigger, while Cllr Malcolm Byrne expressed optimism in light of the county's strong arts and good and improving transport links.

Cllr Davy Hynes welcomed the new roads being built in the county, but said a university of the south east needs to be a priority.

'Lots of us have seen our children have to go away for a job. We had a man here recently from the IDA who told us that they had no interest in Wexford. Unless something is done with the port; it's been left derelict for years.'

Cllr Willie Fitzharris and Cllr Tony Dempsey said the matter should be discussed at special policy committee level.

Cllr Lisa McDonald said: 'Why does it have to go back to another committee. I think we know what we want; its very, very clear.'

Cllr O'Brien said: 'There is no point going up to the minister and saying we are the third poorest county in Ireland. We have to say what we are going to do for ourselves.'

The motion was strongly supported.

Wexford People

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