VEC office won’t shut immediately

OFFALY’s VEC office may not shut immediately when its headquarters is moved to Portlaoise under plans to amalgamate the VECs in Laois and Offaly.

OFFALY’s VEC office may not shut immediately when its headquarters is moved to Portlaoise under plans to amalgamate the VECs in Laois and Offaly.

Cllr Liam Quinn, VEC member, outlined to the committee the details of a letter received by Offaly County Council after the local authority wrote to the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, TD regarding the amalgamation.

The Department’s letter stated the redeployment of staff from Tullamore to Portlaoise is possible under the Croke Park agreement. However, it’s expected that the office in Tullamore will remain open for some time and that the approach to reployment will be measured and considered.

Minister Quinn said it will be a matter for the CEO of the new Education and Training Board to work through and judge what the best approach is to ensure the optimum approach to service delivery while the establishment of SOLAS is also likely to have a bearing the precise arrangements to be made.

The committee members heard that the Department will not be forcing “any one size fits all approach to staff deployment and office accommodation by the new Education and Training Boards”. “We will be receptive to any reasonable and sensible arrangements that are the best fit for the needs of the areas served by the new board,” the letter concluded.

Cllr Quinn commented that the letter seemed to be “ambiguous” with Cllr Eamon Dooley agreeing with his sentiments.