Port has seen an increase in criminality and vandalism, and there is no Garda presence, according to a recent audit. It was conducted by a steering committee, which conducted a no holds barred survey of the town, looking at everything from first impressions to shopping facilities.
Under the ‘Pride of Place’ heading, it scored badly.
“Streets are not well lit, not kept clean of litter, graffiti and fly posting, streets and pavements are not in good repair, street furniture is not in right place nor is it well maintained. Businesses don’t look after the area outside their property and services are not well publicised. There is nowhere for young people to hang out - no youth service or cafe,” the audit found.
There were some positive remarks however.
“On the other hand, there are pleasant public places for people to sit and open spaces are well maintained,” it ends.
The audit is the first step on a nine year plan to revitalise the town, titled “Port’s Vision 2020”, and was conducted with the help of economic mentor Frank Dolaghan. Ideas from it will be taken on board in a new local Development Plan, which for the first time will be written jointly by Laois and Offaly county councils.