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Questions over Gas to the West jobs and incentives

CONCERNS have been raised over incentives and jobs opportunities in  the major Gas to the West scheme.

Gas to the West is a major project that will connect thousands of  homes throughout Tyrone to the gas network.

Work on intermediate pipelines is scheduled to begin next month with  the hope that around 150 jobs will be created.

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Speaking at the monthly Fermanagh and Omagh District Council meeting  last week, UUP Councillor Howard Thornton said he has still not   received an answer of what incentives or subsidies will be for people  and businesses to switch over to using natural gas.

With the promise of new jobs in the scheme, Cllr Thornton wants to see  efforts to train local people to fit the gas lines.

He suggested the council contact South West College to see if courses  could be provided to allow local people to gain the necessary certificates to carry out this work. Otherwise he said it will be a  case of the “white van brigade coming down the M1” with local people   missing out on this opportunity.

Cllr Thornton also stated there is a huge management issue regarding  the laying of these pipes and stated there needed to be assurances  
that whatever is dug up for pipes is properly replaced.

He suggested writing to the relevant groups and suppliers to answer  some of these queries.

This was seconded by Cllr Josephine Deehan who said it was important  people west of the Bann receive equal treatment.

Cllr Sorcha McAnespy emphasised that “local jobs for local people”  must be a priority.

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