New economic plan will help boost prospects
A draft economic and community plan is currently being prepared for Wexford.
At last week's meeting of the local borough district executive officer with Wexford County Council Deirdre Kearns said that 'economic development and community development are key contributors to well being and quality of life. Economic developments helps to build strong communities and is fundamental to people's welfare through greater prosperity, job creation and financial stability.
'Community development, through its core values of human rights, social inclusion, equality and respect for diversity, helps to build strong inclusive communities. It provides opportunity for people to learn and develop their skills and involves those who may be excluded or disadvantaged.'
She said that such a plan will 'promote and support the economic development and the local and community development of the Local Authority's functional area, both by the Local Authority itself and in partnership with other economic and community development stakeholders'.
The three main aspects of the plan will be goals, objectives and actions. She said the plan 'will consist of high level goals for economic development and local community development supported by specific objectives under the respective economic and community streams. Each objective within the economic and community elements will be achieved through the implementation of specific, tome bound and measurable actions. The implementation of these objectives and actions will be monitored through specified related targets and indicators.'
She said Wexford had a number of strengths and weaknesses. She said that Wexford has a growing young population which is 'a positive sign and suggests a new demographic vibrancy for large parts of the county in the coming years'.
However she said that Wexford is the third most disadvantaged local authority in the State, a drop of four places since 2006. She said the vast majority of Wexford's electoral districts are classed as 'Marginally Below Average' with the remainder classes as 'Marginally Above Average and 'Disadvantaged'.
She also said the Wexford has the third highest rate of unemployed people in all local authorities with only Donegal and Longford with higher rates. In terms of opportunities for the county she said the county had good access links and there was potential to improve broadband accessibility to help people work from home.
She said the extension of the gas network will also bring significant opportunities to the county.