Cllr criticises media over anti-social behaviour story

A councillor was critical of a local newspaper this week after it ran a story about anti-social behaviour in Clonmore and dared to suggest the perpetrators were local teenagers.

“I have to say there’s no fingers being pointed at teenagers locally, just to clear up a story that appeared in the media last week,” said Cllr Ken Glynn at this month’s meeting of the Mullingar area committee.

Cllr Glynn was referring to a story that appeared in the Westmeath Topic last week highlighting the marked increase in vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the vicinity of the derelict Clonmore shopping centre in recent weeks, in which a local resident fairly suggested those involved also included people from outside the neighbourhood.

Cllr Glynn, a resident of Clonmore, had submitted a question to the county council to ask what was being done with the shop units there which he said were “in poor repair, very unsightly, and a target for anti-social behaviour”.

“There’s been two letters written [to the site owner] and there’s little or nothing done,” said Cllr Glynn.

“We don’t want it knocked down. We want to see it tidied up, as a resident of the area,” he said.

In a reply to Cllr Glynn, the Executive confirmed that “warning letters were issued to the new owners in September and October...[but] the site continues to be in a derelict condition”.

There had been reports of a car being burnt out on the site, at the start of the month, and though there was some evidence of a fire, “there was no debris on site”, according to the council.

“It is proposed to proceed with the derelict site enforcement process and issue Section 11 notices on the site owner outlining the remedial works required,” said the Executive spokesperson.

This is used to force the owner of such a site to bring it up to a standard acceptable to the local environment section within a six week period.

It is understood the owner of the site, who was not named at the meeting, has been in touch with the council and should comply within four weeks.

On a secondary issue concerning the neighbourhood, Cllr Glynn enquired as to when residents might see repairs to a speed ramp on the Newbrook road, which he said was “more like a launching pad rather than a speed deterrent”.

Council officials agreed to carry out repairs to the ramp, as well as to the pedestrian crossing outside the fire station, and indicated this would be done in the early new year.

 

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