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Election Diary: Madigan calls for more play areas; movement on Carlow Southern Relief Road; pension plan for CE Supervisors

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Call for more play areas

Portlaoise councillor, Pauline Madigan has called for the provision of more play areas, particularly in housing estates.

The official reply from the Council is that the local authority is always willing to work with resident’s associations and developers to support the provision of play areas.

Cllr Madigan said that while on the campaign trail recently she noted that the only place for the children in Maryborough Crescent to play was in the car park and this is not good enough.

“The mind boggles and the heart breaks, when you see something like this,” she said, saying we have to do better.
Council Chairman, John King agreed about the importance of playgrounds and play areas to communities.

He said a site had been acquired for a new playground in Borris-in-Ossory and it was intended that it would go ahead later this year.

Cllr James Kelly said that it was important when providing such facilities that they made provision for access-to-all, especially those with disabilities.

Laois signs off on Carlow Southern Relief Road

There is finally some small movement on long held plans for a Southern Relief Road of Carlow Town, part of which will travel through the Laois side of the town.

The Southern Relief Road Scheme, comprising of a road linking the N9 (now R448) Carlow to Kilkenny Road at Mortarstown with the R725 Carlow to Tullow Road at Chapelstown was first advertised back in 2004.

While a long period of time has since elapsed the Department of Transport has outlined its recognition and commitment towards this scheme, highlighting the necessary steps to be taken to progress the project to a successful conclusion.

Considering the extensive process involved, the advice of the Department is for Carlow and Laois County Councils to consider the project as a whole, extending from the already constructed portion of roadway located at the junction with the R726 (Hacketsotwn Road) orbiting Carlow Town to the south, crossing the N80, the railway line, the N448, the River Barrow, the local and regional road network and joining with the already constructed portion in Co Laois.

As it’s such a major development the Department have advised against ‘project splitting and as the majority of the project is located in Carlow, its local authority is best placed to administer the project.

To formalise the arrangement Laois County Council has to enter a formal agreement with Carlow and that has now been recommended by Senior Engineer for Transportation, Ray Wickham and agreed by Laois councillors at their meeting on Monday.

The recommendation was proposed and seconded by Cllrs Tom Mulhall and Ben Brennan and unanimously agreed by the Council this week.

Pension call for CE Supervisors

Laois County Council has added its support to long running calls for the Government to make provision for pensions for Community Employment Scheme supervisors.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald raised the issue calling on the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe and the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty to implement a pension scheme for CE Supervisors.

She said that the schemes provided vital services and that although awarded by the Labour Court, was well deserved but was still being ignored.

Cllr Pauline Madigan support the proposal saying that the issue had dragged on for over 11 years and although the right a pension had been sanctioned by the Labour Court the CE supervisors still had a fight on their hands to get the government to agree, and this she said was all wrong.

SEE ALSO – Blow for Laois footballers as forward departs panel ahead of Leinster championship

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John Whelan has been a journalist, commentator, columnist, political analyst, campaigner, politician and publisher ever since he was 17. Having been Editor of the Leinster Express, Offaly Express and the Leinster Leader he has also contributed extensively on a number of issues to all of the country's flagship titles and programmes including the Irish Press, The Irish Independent, the Star, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday Business Post, The Sunday Times and Prime Time. He is founder of Communicate Ireland a PR, public affairs, event management and media services company. He is the author of the popular camping blog, Vanhalla - Camper Heaven.