€1m plan for the county council foyer
WICKLOW County Council has announced plans to develop a customer care unit at the foyer of the county buildings.
The project will also involve the refurbishment and enhancement of the council chamber and will cost in excess of €1m.
Early plans for the foyer include a customer care unit manned by five experienced staff members and overseen by a manager. A customers service management system will also be put in place. The planning desk will also be extended and will include two interactive planning work stations.
The council chamber will be pushed out by two and a half metres and a gallery for staff will be created. Seating in the public gallery will also be increased and the back of the room will be raised for better views of the main stage.
Describing the customers service management system, Chief Executive Frank Curran said: ‘when someone comes in with a query, it will be forwarded to, say to the area engineer, who will then come back with an update. The meeting rooms will also be upgraded, which is something councillors have brought up in the past’.
Some councillors took issue with spending over €1 million on the project.
Cllr Edward Timmins commented: ‘It sees a hell of a lot of money to spend on just a few changes’.
Cllr Brendan Thornhill said: ‘I have been here in the council now for four years and this chamber is fine. Put the energy into the foyer’.
Cllr Oliver O’Brien said: ‘I am happy with the design we have in this chamber. I wouldn’t be happy at spending that sort of money. It sends out a bad message’.
However, other councillors felt improvements were required. ‘I don’t think this chamber is fit for purpose. I also totally agree with the idea of a hub. The County Buildings in Wicklow are depressing when you come into it. It is not how a modern council should function,’ said Cllr Grainne McLoughlin.
Cllr John Ryan hoped the customer care unit would match that of Dun Laoghaire County Council once it is complete. ‘I really like the idea of a customer care area. In Dun Laoghaire, from the second you walk by you can see all the big screens detailing everything that is happening’.
Cllr Miriam Murphy requested improvements to facilities for people with a disability.
‘The toilet facilities in this building for people with disabilities is a disgrace. That needs to be a priority’.