€1m plan for the county coun­cil foyer

Wicklow People - - NEWS -

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’.

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