Appeal for both sides to discuss playgroup saga
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.