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Matthews Calls for Council Staffing Review

Date: 12 April 2022

Green Party TD, Steven Matthews has written to the new acting CEO of Wicklow County Council – Brian Gleeson seeking an urgent review in the number of outdoor staff in each of the Wicklow districts. This has been raised as a particular concern by Tidy Towns Groups and other local community groups in recent months. Discussing the issue, Deputy Matthews said:

“As an active member of a local Tidy Towns group and founding member of the North Wicklow Environmental Network, I am fully aware of the range of work and the challenges faced by local Tidy Towns and other community groups. They do incredible work across a range of issues including public realm improvements, sustainability projects, environmental work as well as bringing many groups together to work on community clean ups.

“The most consistent issue raised with me is that there are not enough outdoor staff employed by Wicklow County Council to offer support to these groups in their work. Anecdotally I have heard of a number of instances whereby council staff have either retired or moved on and have not been adequately replaced.”

“The work that Tidy Towns and others do is incredible and is vital in generating community pride and making our towns and villages more enjoyable places to live. These volunteers are community leaders and know their area extremely well and can work with the council to highlight the hidden gems in our county and places that council staff don’t have the resources to get to. We need to support these groups to achieve their objectives of maintaining our beautiful towns and villages.

“I have written to the Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council to meet and discuss the need for an urgent and comprehensive review of outdoor staff levels across all districts in Wicklow. I have also raised this issue with the Minister for Local Government across a range of staffing issues for local authorities.

“I look forward to working with Wicklow County Council on this issue and continuing my work with Tidy Towns groups across the county. I would encourage anyone to get involved with their local Tidy Towns group as it is an excellent way to meet like minded people who care deeply about their community and work with them towards this common goal, concluded Deputy Matthews.



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