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Tag Archives: Rural SPC

Community response continues to support Clare’s vulnerable

MORE than 1,200 calls have been answered by Clare’s Covid-19 Community Response Helpline since it was set up last March. Members of the Rural Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) were briefed at a meeting last week by Senior Executive Officer, Bernie Haugh, who outlined how the local authority continues to coordinate the service with the support of a county-wide network of volunteers. “Up to February 14, the helpline has responded to 1,277 calls, with call relating to medical help needs, collection and delivery of food and fuel, the delivery of meals, social isolation and related queries,” Ms Haugh said. Detailing the reasons people gave for using the helpline, Ms Haugh noted that many calls related to general council services. “The greatest volume of calls falls under the category of ‘Other Requests,’ which relates to queries regarding other council services, information and sign-posting, so the helpline has been used as a forum for people to tap into resources locally and nationally, throughout …

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Broadband plan works on way for South East Clare

WORK on the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan is expected to begin in parts of South East Clare by the end of the month. Members of the Rural Development Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) heard an update this week from Urban McMahon Head of Information Systems, Broadband and Digital on the work of National Broadband Ireland (NBI) and on the DigiClare initiative. “They will be moving out from Limerick into Parteen and areas close by,” he said. “For the build, they’ll be using the Eircom infrastructure and liaising with us on traffic management. There should be a lot of activity in East Clare in the coming months. NBI will also be undertaking a marketing and information campaign in the area before the end of this month.” Efforts to provide WiFi hotspots in each municipal district were also outlined. Mr McMahon explained that up to €120,000 had been secured to provide public WiFi in places like The Square in Kilrush, in …

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Councillors warn of debt and mental health impact of lockdown

HUNDREDS of local families are struggling to cover the cost of food and fuel, a council committee has heard, with concerns that lockdown is tipping people into debt and mental health issues. A “food and fuel poverty emergency” like that seen during the first wave of Covid-19, was outlined to members of the Rural Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) this week. Bernie Haugh, Senior Executive Officer, Rural and Community Development, said 375 families and individuals now need emergency food and fuel support. “Heat and lighting costs are increasing as more people spend time at home under the Level 5 restrictions, school and childcare closures result in more families having to meet additional food needs,” she outlined. “Older people are struggling to meet fuel costs and that’s worsened by the lack of alternative heated spaces. They would have gone to libraries or shopping centres, that’s no longer available to them. Missing fuel payments creates additional pressure. Where a family is cut off …

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