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Wicklow County Council has no jurisdiction for input into closure of CIS office in Wicklow town

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Cllr Mary Kavanagh.

Cllr Mary Kavanagh.

Cllr Mary Kavanagh.

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WICKLOW County Council has no jurisdiction to involve itself in efforts to secure a Citizens Information Office for Wicklow town.

Last month the board of South Leinster Citizens Information Service (SLCIS) were informed that funding would not be made available to allow the badly needed service to reopen.

Discussions had been taking place between the Department of Social Protection and the Citizens Information Board (CIB) about the completion of a new premises development for a Citizens Information Office in Wicklow town.

Cllr Mary Kavanagh raised the issue at Monday’s meeting of Wicklow County Council, and wondered if the Local Authority might be able to get involved in order to find a resolution.

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She said: “There will be no Citizens Information Office in Wicklow town, instead the service will be provided online or by phone. That’s all fine for people who are computer literate and aren’t hard of hearing. What about people with literacy problems, language or hearing difficulties, or new people who only recently arrived in the country. They will all fall through the cracks unless some alternative arrangements are put in place.”

However, Wicklow County Council Chief Executive, Brian Gleeson, said the Local Authority didn’t have the power to get involved.

“We have no jurisdiction. It’s an unsatisfactory situation in Wicklow town but we would have no input.”

Cllr Gerry O’Neill sympathised with Cllr Kavanagh over the situation in Wicklow town.

“In west Wicklow we had two Citizen Information Offices in Blessington and Baltinglass, and they are now both gone. It was something very useful in the area. I was often asked a lot of information that I might not be able to answer and the Citizens Information Office was a great help. People have to Newbridge in County Kildare now.”


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