Voluntary Forum’s New Year wish-list for Mullingar area

Westmeath’s Community and Voluntary Forum presented a wish-list of proposals to the Mullingar Area Committee earlier this week, detailing their requests for improvements in a variety of areas.

Director of services David Hogan will provide a response to councillors and then contact the Forum, but offered no initial comment on the suggestions raised by the volunteers.

Forum members outlined their concerns under four themes: access, facilities, road safety, and anti-social behaviour and these include issues such as traffic management at Mullingar’s Green Bridge; road safety in Ballyncargey; a lack of set-down parking for meals on wheels and a doctor’s surgery at College Street, Mullingar; and Kinnegad’s derelict sites.

Forum member Bob Morrison said there are not enough meeting places for community and voluntary groups and called for a register of suitable locations across the county.

He proposed a community notice board at a prominent Mullingar location, such as Market Square.

Modelled on the notice board at Mullingar Arts Centre, it wouldn’t take much space and would provide valuable information to locals and visitors, he said.

Speed ramps also drew their attention. Ramps are needed at strategic locations in Valley Bungalows because road users drive too fast, the meeting was told.

The ramp at Belvedere Hills is too severe and too close to the entrance and likely to cause an accident, Mr Morrison said, adding that it should be graded on the way into the estate.

He also referred to signage which is obscured by foliage and the need for greater oversight when circuses and fairground owners litter sites in the town.

Cllr Peter Burke agreed, and said stricter monitoring is needed around the Horizon site, particularly because the residents of Valley Bungalows work so hard to keep their area well.

He said he had previously referred this issue to the Environment SPC and said fairground, carnival, and circus owners should be reminded of their obligations regarding litter and the local community.

Councillors supported the Forum’s proposals but members were keen to point out that many of the issues have already been raised at town council and local area level.

Cllr Penrose echoed the forum and repeated his request for safety measures for the 93 children attending Ballynacargey’s national school. Cllr Avril Whitney said vehicles travel too fast through the village.

Cllr Ken Glynn agreed that Mullingar’s College Street is “absolute chaos” and pointed out that one morning recently three cars were turning in the middle of the road as children tried to cross the road to go to school.

While community gardaí are on site since Sgt Tony Quinn retired, he said the area needs work and advised the director to visit the site some morning because, in his view, a serious accident is likely to happen there.

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