‘Queue­ing con­fu­sion’ as wel­fare of­fice is opened


Bray People - - Bray People - Mary FOG­A­RTY

THE LAUNCH of the new So­cial Wel­fare Of­fice at the Civic Offices was wel­comed, but guard­edly so, by mem­bers of the pub­lic and of­fi­cials last Fri­day.

Opened of­fi­cially by Min­is­ter Mary Hanafin with Joe Be­han T.D. & Cllr. Caro­line Bur­rell, users agreed that the fa­cil­ity is much nicer than the old one near the seafront but com­plained that the queu­ing sys­tem is chaotic.

‘I al­ways get there early and queue for around 40 min­utes when I sign on,’ said one out-of-work Bray woman. ‘How­ever, I would imag­ine that if I were de­layed, the wait could be up to an hour and a half. The queue is very long.’

She said that there is al­ways some con­fu­sion on the part of peo­ple who are there for other rea­sons than their reg­u­lar ‘sign­ing on’.

‘It’s not clear that they don’t have to stand in the same line,’ she said. ‘In­vari­ably, some- one who may have a query about ma­ter­nity pay­ments or some­thing ends up stand­ing there for up to an hour be­fore they are told they could have gone straight to the other desk.’

She added that al­though there are dou­ble doors, only one of them is ever left open, mean­ing that peo­ple with other is­sues have to squeeze past the blocked door to get in. ‘The line stretches out­side the door and around the cor­ner,’ she said. ‘It’s grand on a fine day, but in bad weather the el­derly and dis­abled peo­ple, as well as moth­ers with young chil­dren, are forced to wait out in the lash­ing rain.’

While the ser­vice user was very ea­ger to point out that the new fa­cil­ity is much bet­ter than the old one, she said that sim­ple changes to the queu­ing sys­tem such as prop­erly la­belling the desks and leav­ing both doors open could make a big dif­fer­ence. ‘ The staff are very nice and very prompt once you ac­tu­ally get to the desk,’ she said.

Cllr. John Byrne of Bray Town Coun­cil and Mayor of Grey­stones, Ge­orge Jones, both agreed that more staff are needed to speed things up.

Min­is­ter Mary Hanafin opens the new So­cial Wel­fare of­fice with Ni­amh O’Donoghue (Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare).

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