06 Oct 2022

Tullamore in 'desperate need' of more outdoor council workers

Offaly towns in desperate need of more outdoor council workers

Indiscriminate dumping in Tullamore

MORE council outdoor staff are needed to carry out much-needed work in the Tullamore Municipal District, the monthly meeting of the body heard last week.

“The boys are doing great work but we need more staff as there is a lot more work that needs to be done,” Cllr Declan Harvey pointed out.

Upon being told by Area Engineer John Connelly that there was three vacancies on the council's outdoor team, Cllr Harvey said there was a need for ten extra staff.

“I have queries from residents in estates about back lanes . . . we spent a lot of money in the past on back lanes but some of them have gone into disrepair again,” he pointed out.

The Fianna Fail councillor claimed a lot of rubbish was being disposed illegally around Tullamore and was hidden on back lanes.

Supporting the call, Cllr Sean O'Brien wondered if council staff could be diverted from other areas for work on the ground in Tullamore.

“Over the years we had staff on the ground whom people could identify with,” recalled Cllr O'Brien who said residents groups in Pearse Park, O'Molloy St, Martian Place and other areas had identified a lot of work which needed to be completed.

He suggested that permanent staff should be engaged or temporary people under the various schemes.

Clara based Cllr Frank Moran said they were looking for extra workers as well and he recalled the successes of the Gateway Scheme some years ago.

“It was the best scheme ever and we got work done in all the municipal districts,' he pointed out commenting that “it has obviously been scrapped.”

Cllr Moran also suggested that council workers should be allocated a few hours on a Saturday and Sunday to sort out issues.

Also supporting the call, Cllr Ken Smollen said he fully agreed with the need for extra people.

“I've received a complaint from a resident of St Columba's Place about a back lane full of rubbish there,” he outlined.

Director of Services, Tom Shanahan confirmed there are a number of vacancies in the Tullamore area due to retirements and long term sick leave.

But he said it was very difficult to recruit people due to the ongoing Covid restrictions.

John Connelly said the Gateway scheme had been a great especially for litter picking but unfortunately it was no longer in existence.

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