Laois County Council to draw up plan for jobs

Minister for the Environment and Local Government Phil Hogan with Laois County Manager Peter Carey. Pic: Lensmen Photographic Agency.
County hall’s top official has pledged to launch a new action plan for jobs.

County hall’s top official has pledged to launch a new action plan for jobs.

Speaking in the wake of the publication of a report on the role of councils in promote ecomic growth, Mr Peter Carey, Laois County Manager, said a plan to create jobs was on the way.

Mr Carey endorsed the report ‘Supporting Enterprise, Local Development and Economic Growth-Analysis of Local Authority Activities for 2012’ which was published by the County and City Managers’ Association (CCMA) on 18th April. It was welcomed by Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan.

Mr Carey said the results of the survey show the range of experience and unique capability of local authorities across the country to support local development.

“In that regard the report highlights the key role that Laois County Council plays in supporting enterprise and economic growth across the County. We will analyse the report in detail to identify best practice from the sector and opportunities to collaborate on projects. This report will also assist us in the preparation of a local action plan for jobs,” he said.

According the Laois County Council the report includes many of activities, mostly carried out at local level by the council which helped growth.

Examples include this Councils support of festivals that bring tourism into our county -over 15 events were supported; developing infrastructure to enable investment -over €12.1 million capital expenditure on Roads and Water Services; supporting entrepreneurship through providing financial incentives, facilities and training- Portlaoise and Portarlington Enterprise Centres are provided and supported by Laois County Council; and promotion of information- publications, opportunities to network and advice to business interests are provided on an ongoing basis.

The County and City Managers’ Association (CCMA) findings on Laois and other councils are based on research of local authority support of enterprise, economic growth and employment.

It is claimed that the report also confirms the growing importance of coucils in local innovation and entrepreneurship Laois County Council hosted a successful Business Networking Event in June 2012, attended by almost 100 local business interests, providing a welcome opportunity for exchange of relevant information and networking for the local business community. A similar event will be hosted in 2013,’ he said.

As part of the Action Plan for Jobs, launched by Minister Hogan in September 2012, the County & City Enterprise Boards are being replaced by Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), to support business.

Mr. Carey indicated the Council is committed to establishing the LEO. He said the Council has supported business by not increasing rates since 2008 or water charges since 2009.

The national report www.lgma.ie/publications