The main aspect we are trying to progress is to get up and going on the master plan. We have advertised and received 16 applications – that is 16 different teams with each team made up of nine different areas; for example architects, engineers, economists etc. They will be reduced to about 6 who will then be asked to tender a price.
What we need to achieve is a broad plan that will set out what we can implement and change over the next number of years and that will improve the lives of people living in Cranmore. With money so hard to come on these days we expect the Government will put up money over a period of time rather than big investment early on. Possibly that will be to our benefit and should mean a better chance to get it right.
Getting it right is the big challenge! Cranmore is a huge resource to Sligo. It makes up a large element of the town, there are huge talents across the estate and there are a very large number of people who give of their time to community activities. Its position on the edge of the town centre makes it very strategic to develop a town that will survive, that will succeed in retaining important services such as the hospital; without those services everyone’s quality of life is reduced and there will be less opportunity for the young people of Sligo. Cranmore has a large number of people who volunteer daily helping in the lives of others.
Getting it right means every body makes an input. No one person has the answers and no one group of people has the answers. Shortly a consultation process will commence which will explain the process further and will fire people up to represent their point of view and get into the plan the things they hold to be most important. Don’t stand back. Get your voice in – we are all depending on it. It is the people of Cranmore who understand the area best and who can offer the best ideas for the future of Cranmore. But it is bigger than that! Sligo’s future depends on bringing out the strengths that are in Cranmore; bring them out to contribute more to Sligo, empowering the community – if we could get all the talent in Cranmore positively working towards a better future we could look forward to a much stronger Sligo. Success in Cranmore if we can pull it off will have a bearing on all who live in Sligo – that is how important it is that you contribute.
Let us look towards a place to live that will give better opportunities to all. That cannot be achieved easily and nobody will hand us any answers; but if we all put on our thinking caps and apply our minds; the master plan gives us a chance to gather those ideas and attempt to draw in funding based on those ideas. Amongst what we need to change is, in my opinion, increased involvement in education and jobs for people living on the estate. That would also strengthen the community, strengthen Sligo and leave the entire community able to resist those who strive on week communities and make gains on their backs.
Many houses in the estate had windows replaced recently. We are grateful to the Cranmore Community Co Op who pushed the Minister for Housing to put some money into the estate so that there would be something to show for the regeneration status. They succeeded in getting the money and well done to them. It would be great if we could do some more of that work this year; for now we have to wait to see what the Department will give us this year – we expect to know shortly.
There is a worry in relation to the continuance of the Community Wardens scheme. The risk is not related to any local or Sligo issue – it is related to the department. Two things arise; Funding and the cut in the numbers employed in the public service. As of now their contracts extend to 31st March. We have sought funding for the full year but our budget has not yet been made known to us. When we get funding we will then have to deal with the second matter – growth in public sector numbers; it used to be that when funding was put our way we could sign up a contract to employ somebody but not anymore – we have first to get approval from the department to put the contract in place. We will keep up the battle and fingers crossed we will succeed in keeping Gary and Marisa on the team.
Last year we tried to get the department to put money into the Cleveragh Regional Park – this money was promised first back in 2007. We did not succeed last year but will have a go again this year.
The Regeneration Offices are at Devins Drive beside the Co Op. Call in any time. We are here to help residents and we will do our very best if you come to us and outline the issue.