Community policing and the future of Courtown were some of the many talking points at the recent Courtown Community Council AGM, which was held in person for the first time since the pandemic.
t the meeting, which saw 45 people show up to share their views, Lorna Fitzpatrick provided an insight into the draft SmartVillage plan and welcomed input from attendees to finalise the details. Members of Courtown Community Council previously engaged in training which was facilitated by the LEADER programme 2014–2020 to learn about the Smart Village Strategy with the aim of developing a strategy for the area. This led to the roll out of a consultation in the community last year, which invited permanent and seasonal residents to have their say on themes such as service provision gaps, key investment projects, transport, environmental projects and challenges and enterprise opportunities and challenges. The results of this will be communicated at the launch of the Smart Village Plan on Monday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ashdown Park Hotel and will be open to all.
A discussion was had about the need for increased policing and CCTV monitoring in the area. Councillor Andrew Bolger said the community should continue to pressure local representatives about the need for additional policing in the area but acknowledged that it was not a political decision. It was agreed that CCC would try to organise a meeting with Gardaí and the community to discuss the concerns and would use the data available from the Smart Village Plan to try to push for greater policing in the area.
Community Development Worker with Wexford Local Development John Kelly responded to questions posed about the number of people seeking international protection who are living in Courtown. John provided context to where and how many of these men have travelled to Ireland. He said that the people he worked with wanted to integrate fully into the community, with many volunteering with local groups and pursuing education.
The meeting saw issues raised about the need for additional toilet blocks, a bigger playground, fencing, bins and traffic management. The development of a new Heritage Group was also discussed. At the end of the meeting, a variety of questions were raised about the proposed land swap in Courtown. Many felt that further information and clarity was required, along with dialogue between the community and elected councillors.