Ap­peal for both sides to dis­cuss play­group saga

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS -

AN Ark­low Coun­cil­lor has ap­pealed to both sides in­volved in a dis­pute over the Avoca Play­group, which un­til ear­lier this year ran at Avoca Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, to come to­gether and dis­cuss the mat­ter.

Cllr Mary McDon­ald told the Wick­low People that a demon­stra­tion in sup­port of the play­group which took place on Satur­day is ex­pected to be­come a weekly event un­til the mat­ter is re­solved.

‘The demon­stra­tion took place fol­low­ing a meet­ing on Au­gust 23 where 99 per cent of those in at­ten­dance ex­pressed sup­port for the play­group com­mit­tee. A small ac­tion com­mit­tee has been formed to try and reach an agree­ment with the hall com­mit­tee. If both sides could just sit around the ta­ble and sort the sit­u­a­tion out then it would be bet­ter for ev­ery­one,’ she said. A dis­pute arose be­tween both com­mit­tees ear­lier this year when the hall com­mit­tee claimed that it changed the locks of the build­ing when the play­group com­mit­tee re­fused to sign a new li­cence agree­ment.

The play­group said that it had reser­va­tions about some of the clauses within the agree­ment and ar­gued that not all other groups rent­ing hall space had signed it.

The is­sue of rent was also raised, which had been dropped from €30 a day to €20 a day when at­ten­dance fig­ures re­duced.

When the num­bers in­creased again, the hall com­mit­tee sought the reg­u­lar pay­ment to be restored but the play­group claimed that it still did not have enough chil­dren at­tend­ing to be able to meet this cost.

As of last week, the play­group com­mit­tee has of­fered to pay €30 a day but the hall com­mit­tee pre­vi­ously out­lined that they have en­gaged a new op­er­a­tor and that there will be no row­ing back on the mat­ter.

Avoca res­i­dents and sup­port­ers protest against the re­moval of Avoca Play­group from the lo­cal hall.

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