County council searching for suitable site for local Civil Defence HQ

Photo: Laois Civil Defence

A leasing agreement for the provision of a storage depot for a civil defence unit has lapsed, leaving a midlands-based unit without any formal headquarters.

Over the past number of months, Laois County Council has endeavored to identify a suitable building and grounds to house its Civil Defence headquarters, however, its search has so far proven inconclusive.

Laois Civil Defence were based in a depot in Mountmellick during the lease.

The council has given itself a deadline whereby if they didn’t locate a suitable building within a time frame, they will consider looking to build a premises from the ground up on land already owned by the council.

In a report on the ‘Leinster Express’ newspaper, Simon Walton, Director of Services at Laois County Council told the February meeting of Portlaoise Municipal District, “Our preference is to purchase but we will look at building a facility on lands we own. We are looking daily to see if a suitable premises emerges.  Obviously, we are looking at our own portfolio of lands to see if a site may be suitable. If a building doesn’t emerge on the market over the next four to six months, I can see a proposal coming before councillors where we suggest a site of our own. We are committed to providing a Civil Defence facility in Portlaoise suitable to the ongoing and future needs.”

Photo: Laois Civil Defence

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley said “there is so much uncertainty for the Civil Defence themselves and indeed for the community, they do such fantastic work” and she asked if the council could move the process along and progress a new building in the next three or four months.

Laois County Council had committed in the 2021 budget to create a central facility in Portlaoise for Laois Civil Defence, which would also offer a training facility and an opportunity to expand membership and enhance the service it gives to Laois.

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