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Councillor Paul Murphy

Call for grant clarity for Clare Tidy Towns groups

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. 

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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