TIDY Towns groups need more clarity on their annual budgets, according to Ennis area councillor, Paul Murphy.
The Clarecastle man raised the matter at the May meeting of Clare County Council, when he asked the executive to bring the deadline forward for applications to Community Support Schemes (CSS).
His motion said that earlier deadlines would “help facilitate the invaluable work that community groups are doing in towns and villages across County Clare”.
He added that the move would benefit Tidy Towns organisations who are currently unaware of what support they are getting this year. This year’s mid-May deadline, he said, makes it very difficult to plan for the year ahead.
Addressing the meeting, Councillor Murphy said he wanted to speak up for Tidy Towns groups. “They are very reliant on these grants,” he said. “They find it hard to develop a work plan until they know what their budget is going to be.”
The motion was seconded by Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Ann Norton.
In a written response to the motion, Director of Rural Services Leonard Cleary said the slight delay to the CSS allocations for 2022 was as a result of the pandemic.
“Council staff are working with community groups to be flexible in relation to the grants,” the reply stated.
“The Working Group for the Action Plan for Rural Ireland have now met and made their recommendations to the May full Council meeting. The proposed revised deadline will be considered as part of the 2023 CSS scheme.”
Councillor Murphy thanked Mr Cleary for his response, saying he was “pretty satisfied” with it.