Waterford councillor says authority must meet in May
The Sinn Féin group on Waterford City and County Council has written to the Mayor and Chief Executive calling for the local authority to meet next month.
Sinn Féin leader on the Council Conor McGuinness said: “The Sinn Féin group of councillors have written to the CEO and Mayor today to signal our strong position that Council meetings should resume from May onwards, observing appropriate social distancing and all public health precautions.
“The acting Taoiseach included local government in his list of essential sectors and Sinn Féin councillors have been very busy over recent weeks. For the most part, this has involved assisting constituents in accessing payments and services, communicating clear information and advice, and in distributing groceries and medicines where necessary. That said, we cannot let other aspects of our job as public representatives go undone.”
“Workers in the healthcare, retail and social care sectors have been expected to turn up at work during the pandemic, as have defence forces personnel, Gardaí, local authority staff and news reporters. We have seen two social housing building sites return to work this week. It is reasonable to expect that public representatives would attend meetings to discuss the important issues that matter to the people of Waterford.
“The housing crisis has not gone away and there are very pressing issues relating to housing and homelessess that we have been unable to raise for close to two months.
“Our economy is already in recession and there is a need for the Council to discuss the budgetary implications as well as how we can support SMEs and economic re-growth in the wake of the crisis. Waterford was left behind during the Celtic Tiger, it was left behind when Fianna Fáil crashed the economy, and it was left behind during Fine Gael’s so-called decade of recovery. We cannot afford to be left behind again and Waterford needs to speak with one voice in this regard.
“We are confident that adequate precautions can be put in place to allow a meeting happen safely and successfully. We are open to working with Council management and all parties and independents to settle on a workable solution."
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