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Need to Expand Access to Community Gardens – Steven Matthews TD

Green TD Steven Matthews has called for the provision of more community gardens across Co. Wicklow. This follows the announcement of a Green Party Bill which would require local authorities to produce a plan for the development, allocation and use of community gardens. Speaking following the launch of the proposed legislation, Deputy Matthews said:

“I am delighted that my Green Party colleague Marc O’Cathasaigh has proposed this Private Members’ Bill which would improve access to community growing spaces.

“Community gardens are wonderful opportunities to bring people of all backgrounds together to share their knowledge and work collaboratively. These green spaces contribute to biodiversity and have a positive impact on physical and mental health as well as providing educational, cultural and social benefits across local communities. However, the current legislation around the provision of growing spaces is weak and confusing, and it is quite difficult for groups to set up and acquire land from local authorities to establish community gardens.

“I welcome this Green Party Bill which would require local councils to actively plan for the provision of community gardens. Members of a local community would be able to apply to their local authority to let and use a community garden and the local authority would maintain a waiting list of applicants to offer the next available green space to those interested.

“The Green Party are committed to expanding access to community gardens and I look forward to seeing this legislation progress through the Oireachtas. This is an important initiative which would have a substantial impact on the development of community gardens across Co. Wicklow”, Deputy Matthews concluded.



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