District councillors prioritise housing
CLLR Grace McManus asked members to set a date for a special meeting on housing and homelessness. ‘We agreed to this at the last meeting,’ she said last Tuesday evening at a meeting of Bray Municipal District.
Cathaoirleach of Bray Municipal District Steven Matthews said that he had spoken to the director for housing. He mentioned that Joe Lane had given presentations the previous day on RAS and HAP schemes as well as national policy, and next month will present on homelessness.
Cllr Matthews said that Mr Lane would be in Bray next month for a Part 8 matter, and is willing to take any question relating to housing also.
‘We did agree to a meeting,’ said Cllr McManus.
Cllr Matthews said that it is difficult to get the director and staff to a meeting out of hours, then there would also be an expectation that the same should occur in the other districts.
He said that would be taking staff out of hours when they are needed elsewhere.
He said that he would continue to ask for the opportunity to work it into the staff workload.
Cllr Matthews said that the decision made was to request a meeting, and the request has been made
Cllr Joe Behan said that the members had decided to have a meeting together, with or without officials.
‘We are the only district in Wicklow with a housing function,’ he said. ‘We are entitled to a bit more attendance from officials because of that.’
He said that housing is the number one issue for the district. ‘We want to offer hope and some kind of light at the end of the tunnel for the 1,000 plus families on the list,’ he said. He suggested the members meet in October, after having heard presentations from the director and officials.
Cllr Matthews wondered what the benefit would be of meeting without the housing staff present.
Cllr McManus and her Sinn Féin party colleague said that the district as a group of eight could discuss together what messages they want to bring to the SPC and the full council.
Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy and Cllr McManus, both members of the housing SPC, said that they would be prepared to bring the collated view of Bray Municipal District to the SPC.
Cllr Grace McManus.