Balbriggan Town Councillors seek funds for community policing forum
BALBRIGGAN Town Council is to write to the Minister for the Environment and An Garda Síochana in bid to win new funding for the now defunct, Balbriggan Community Policing Forum.
The forum had been previously funded by the HSE through he Regional Drugs Task Force but that funding was withdrawn at the end of last year.
Cllr. Gráinne Maguire said the forum should never have been funded through that source and no other regional drugs task force in the country funded policing forums.
She suggested that instead, the Minister responsible for local government, Phil Hogan TD, or An Garda Síochana should stump up the funding for the organisation.
She acknowledged that if Balbriggan played a great part in the county-wide Joint Policing Committee it might negate the need for the forum but said it was still 'no harm' in asking that the popular institution be funded again.
Cllr. Monica Harford (Lab) agreed and said they should look for the forum to be funded first and if that did not work out, then alternatives could be looked at.
Town Clerk, Brian Murray said the forum was in addition to the Joint Policing Committee and Balbriggan had always been covered and been under the remit of that larger countywide body.
'The JPC didn't ignore Balbriggan for the last five years,' he told the town councillors, adding that the forum actually fed into the larger body's work.
Cllr. Frank Snowe (NP) said there was not a lot of money involved in funding the forum and the town council should try to get that funding 'whatever way we can get it'.
Both Cllr. Maguire and Cllr. Peadar O'Kelly (Lab) made the point that the forum was successful and held well attended public meetings that gave local people a chance to air their concerns about crime in the area.