Staff in dis­trict of­fice greatly de­pleted since town coun­cil changes

Bray People - - NEWS -

There was harsh crit­i­cism of the fact that Bray Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict has been left low in staff lev­els.

The mat­ter emerged at last Tues­day evening’s monthly meet­ing as Cllr Bren­dan Thorn­hill asked about a li­ai­son scheme be­tween res­i­dents of Old­court and the coun­cil. Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer Tri­ona Irv­ing said that due to staffing in Bray Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict it is not fea­si­ble for the es­tate devel­op­ment of­fi­cer to be in es­tates as much as he would like to be.

Be­cause the dis­trict is short on rent col­lec­tors, the devel­op­ment of­fi­cer is partly fill­ing in that role. ‘An­other staff mem­ber re­tired last week,’ she said. The hous­ing depart­ment now in­cludes Ms Irv­ing, one cler­i­cal of­fi­cer and the es­tate devel­op­ment of­fi­cer in ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Un­til such time as they get other staff, they can’t do more work than they are do­ing. ‘Ideally there would be re­ports from es­tate li­ai­son but that is not pos­si­ble,’ she said.

Cllr Pat Vance said that the staff sit­u­a­tion is scan­dalous. ‘It’s scan­dalous how we are be­ing treated by Wicklow County Coun­cil,’ he said. ‘Re­ally and truly. The staff are do­ing a fan­tas­tic job un­der pres­sure. They are down to less than half.

‘ This was sup­posed to be bet­ter lo­cal gov­ern­ment giv­ing bet­ter ser­vice. We can’t go on any­more with this. We have to get way more staff. As a body maybe for once the coun­cil­lors around this table could all agree that this sit­u­a­tion has to be tack­led in Bray and the dis­trict. Cllr Joe Be­han said that Bray is the least of Wicklow County Coun­cil’s pri­or­i­ties, at se­nior man­age­ment level. ‘We’re down to an al­most im­pos­si­ble level of staff. Per­haps that’s the agenda. They prob­a­bly wanted the hous­ing depart­ment for the en­tire county to be in Wicklow. Mem­bers of the pre­vi­ous coun­cil fought for it to re­main, but we’re not go­ing to get the staff to make it pos­si­ble to main­tain here. I want to see se­ri­ous ac­tion from the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive to see to it that if a per­son re­tires they are re­placed im­me­di­ately.’

He said that sim­i­larly, in re­la­tion to staffing, a traf­fic war­den for schools at Schools Road has not been re­placed since last Septem­ber. ‘Wicklow County Coun­cil have had this knowl­edge for months and done noth­ing about re­plac­ing that staff mem­ber,’ he said. ‘Se­nior man­age­ment are com­pletely and ut­terly ig­nor­ing the needs of the peo­ple,’ he said. Cllr John Ryan said that the new sys­tem of lo­cal gov­ern­ment is a ‘ load of rub­bish’. He called for Bray Town Coun­cil to be res­ur­rected and brought back. ‘It’s plainly and sim­ply not work­ing, it’s tak­ing for­ever to do any­thing,’ said Cllr Ryan, adding that the eight coun­cil­lors must unify to­gether and go to the CEO.

Cllr Steven Matthews said that they have been de­pleted of staff since the lo­cal gov­ern­ment amend­ment. ‘It’s def­i­nitely not work­ing,’ he said.

He said that he is wait­ing for the county man­ager to come back to him and wants to or­gan­ise a meet­ing for the dis­trict coun­cil­lors.

Cllr Matthews said that Min­is­ter Coveny was to do a mid term re­view but that as far as he was aware, no re­view was be­ing done.

‘We pay all the prop­erty tax and all the ser­vices have gone down,’ said Cllr John Ryan. Cllr Matthews said he will con­tinue to ask the of­fi­cials to come to Bray for work­shops.

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