The Action Plan for Jobs in the Midlands, which was launched by the Taoiseach recently, is an insult to the county, according to Mountrath Councillor, James Kelly.
At last week’s meeting of Laois County Council, Cllr Kelly called for a meeting with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland as soon as possible in light of the recent announcement of the Midland’s Action Plan for Jobs in which he said there was a scant reference to the creation of a higher number of jobs in Laois.
“This plan is an insult to the county, the people and the town or Portlaoise as there is scant mention of jobs in Laois in it and the fact that Portlaoise is in tier two for investment,” he said.
“There are over 7,000 people signing on and there has only been one IDA visit to Laois in the last three years.
“Since this government came into power there has been 33 IDA jobs created in Laois, but we have lost 52 IDA jobs.
“It’s time we invoted the IDA and Enterprise Ireland down to explain the lack of attention on Laois,” he said.
Cllr Tom Mulhall, who had asked for representatives of the IDA and EI to give a presentation to councillors, said the county needed more industry.
“Foreign investment is not going to come unless we let them know we’re here. The County needs more industry.”
“Is there any point having further dialogue with the IDA they have abandoned Laois. Could the grant be used by some other agency,” Cllr Brendan Phelan asked.
Cathaoirleach Catherine Fizgerald said the population figures being used in the plan were out of the day.
“They are going on figures that are years old. Portlaoise is way ahead of Tullamore and Mullingar in terms of population.”
“They are just not listening,” Cllr Mary Sweeney said, “I don’t know if there is any political party with enough clout to do something.”