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Urgent Support Needed for Arklow Tidy Towns

Green Party TD Steven Matthews has called for additional support and resources from Wicklow County Council for Arklow Tidy Towns. This group has been very successful in recent years in the national Tidy Towns Awards. However, there is growing frustration amongst volunteers regarding the perceived reliance on the group to carry out functions that should fall under the remit of the local authority. Discussing the need for assistance from Wicklow County Council, Deputy Matthews said:



“I’m extremely disappointed at the lack of local authority support for Arklow Tidy Towns. They do incredible work throughout the community, as do all the other Tidy Towns groups across Wicklow. The Arklow volunteers have spent countless hours litter picking, weeding, painting amongst other activities which is testament to their commitment to improving their town.


“However, following a recent engagement with volunteers from the group, it is clear that they are frustrated with the lack of help they are getting from Wicklow County Council. There are genuine concerns amongst the group about the over-reliance on volunteers, who have limited time and should not be expected to carry out work on behalf of the local authority.


“Unfortunately, this view is also replicated amongst other Tidy Towns groups across the county. Over the past 18 months I have repeatedly called for a review of ground staffing levels across Wicklow and met with the Director of Services in Wicklow County Council to advocate further supports for Tidy Towns.


“I have been an active member of Tidy Towns for many years, the success of these groups is visible throughout our towns and villages. I plan to meet with Arklow Tidy Towns in the coming weeks to join them in their work, to discuss future projects and to get the full details on the supports that they need to continue their work. I have also written directly to the Minister Darragh O’Brien seeking ring fenced funding support for increased staffing allocations in local authorities to support the work of volunteers.


“Our towns and villages deserve more support, and I will continue to push at both a local and national level for these proposals to be implemented. If there are any local groups with similar concerns, I would encourage them to get in touch and I would be happy to offer any support that I can”, Deputy Matthews concluded.

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