Two year wait for job

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS - By MARY FOG­A­RTY

BRAY Drug and Al­co­hol Task Force has been left with­out a co-or­di­na­tor for the past two years.

In­ter­views have taken place and an in­di­vid­ual was iden­ti­fied as being suit­able for the post, but the ap­point­ment has yet to be signed off by the CEO of the HSE, said a spokesper­son for the com­mit­tee.

Chair of the task force, Joe Maguire, has been in con­tact with the HSE, the Minister for Health and other lo­cal TDs, to try and get the per­son ap­pointed, by to no avail.

The spokesper­son said that the task force could have lost out on op­por­tu­ni­ties to ap­ply for fund­ing be­cause there is no co­or­di­na­tor in place to do the nec­es­sary work.

The is­sue was raised by nu­mer­ous peo­ple at a con­fer­ence the task force held re­cently.

‘Not hav­ing a co­or­di­na­tor is se­ri­ously im­ped­ing our work lo­cally,’ said the spokesper­son.

Sec­re­tary of the task force, He­len Kin­sella, said that with­out a co-or­di­na­tor, there is less ‘joined-up think­ing’ with the group. ‘Sub-groups are not meet­ing as reg­u­larly as they would have and we missed out on a cou­ple of fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. I was do­ing the ad­min, but wasn’t 100 per cent sure of all the re­quire­ment,’ she said.

For ex­am­ple, an ap­pli­ca­tion which would only ac­cept the sig­na­ture of the chair­man, the pre­vi­ous year didn’t have that re­quire­ment. ‘Some projects didn’t get their fund­ing on time for that rea­son,’ said He­len.

The pur­pose of the co-or­di­na­tor would be to keep on top of all that ad­min­is­tra­tion, al­low­ing oth­ers to work in the task force’s ar­eas of ed­u­ca­tion, pre­ven­tion, treat­ment and re­hab.

The com­mit­tee has mem­bers from all over the spec­trum of stake­hold­ers in­ter­ested in pri­ori­tis­ing tack­ling drug ad­dic­tion and sur­round­ing is­sues.

There are mem­bers from the cham­ber, the coun­cil, gar­dai, pro­ba­tion ser­vices, Bray Com­mu­nity Ad­dic­tion Team, and other ser­vices, from both the north and south of Bray.

‘We’re not get­ting straight an­swers,’ said He­len. ‘How long will it be be­fore the per­son re­cruited ac­cepts an­other job?’

The HSE had not re­sponded to a re­quest for in­for­ma­tion at the time of go­ing to press.

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