Bray People

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Appeal for more outdoor staff

District administrator Myra Porter told members of Greystones Municipal District that Tidy Towns had written to them, asking members to raise the matter of outdoor staff again at Wicklow County Council District.

Members agreed that there are just ten outdoor staff for the entire district, around half what it used to be prior to the recession.

Ms Porter commented that a number of staff had retired and not been replaced. There had been a recruitment freeze during the economic downturn and the district staff had not been restored to previous numbers. Previously, the district also included Enniskerry so some numbers were lost in the change.

District engineer Ruairi O'Hanlon said that the council helps Tidy Towns when and where they can and when resources allow, with tasks such as traffic management and heavy lifting.

He said that the council's own resources are tight, and Tidy Towns resources are reduced as people who would have been on work placement schemes are now working.

Ms Porter said that they did look for additional staff in the budget, just two for now. She said they had hoped to increase numbers gradually.

Provision has not been made for any further staff for the district.

Mr O'Hanlon said that at one point, in fact, the district had 30.

'Bray has 24 outdoor staff, we should have 18,' said Cllr Mitchell. Ms Porter said that it's not just roads they are required for, but maintenance of housing stock, which is getting older, and the taking in charge of estates with the same number of staff on the ground, as well as the maintenance of a blue flag beach.

District manager Michael Nicholson said that the perception in Wicklow is that if the district can afford to give car parking for free, they don't need further monies.

Members agreed that district administrator Myra Porter would write to the county council again.

Bray People