Thursday, 19 May 2022
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Citizens Information Services
An outreach office is obviously better than nothing but Wicklow town is the county town with a growing population. It is designated under the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy as a key growth town in planning. That is where we are planning to grow populations in County Wicklow, which is in Bray and in Wicklow town. The removal of this service and the suggestion that the service may look for an office to provide an outreach service is not good enough for the residents in Wicklow town.
The Minister of State's response does not quite get to the question I asked in that he states that funding and service provision is the responsibility of the board, which I accept. We have communication from the board to the centre saying that funding will not be provided by the Department of Social Protection. Ultimately, the funding must come from that Department down to the board and it then decides. Has the funding been withheld by the Department or is the funding there and the south Leinster CIS board has decided to spend it elsewhere? If that is the case, I will be satisfied that the senior Minister has provided the funding and I will go then and chase the board to see why it is not providing that service to Wicklow town, considering that the board was all for it in finding premises and in recognising that that service was required.
We are doing considerable work in Wicklow town. A significant growth in population is being added to the town. We are bringing electrified train services there. It is the county town and it needs this service. If the Minister of State can explain to me the question I have just raised with him, that will be fine and I will take my queries then to the Leinster board of the Citizens Information Service.