Last Week Fingal County Council announced an increase in fees for the use of Council playing fields. This will affect all sports clubs and schools in the area. At a time when unemployment is high it is essential that our public amenities are available for use by the young and old in our communities. Members of the government pay lip service to children’s rights while they curtail their access to libraries and sports facilities. Last year’s Children’s referendum appears now to have been little more than a PR exercise. The reality on the ground with cuts to child benefit, poor child care facilities and now the curtailment of public resources all suggest that the referendum was a hollow piece of legislation.
The increased fees for playing pitches come on the back of the County Manager’s decision to cut library opening hours in the Rush and Balbriggan libraries, due to take effect at the start of July. These two things combined will have a negative impact on the community. If people do not have access to public amenities it is very likely that there will be an increase in anti-social behaviour, depression, obesity and many other knock on effects.
Many families in Fingal are legitimately concerned at the County Manager’s decision to cutback Library hours. The County Council voted to protect our access to this public service. However, that vote has not meant a protection of access to our books and other amenities. The local library network in Rush and Balbriggan will suffer curtailed access from the end of June and there is no certainty that this curtailment will not be made permanent.
This is unfortunate as both these facilities are very popular and both are the product of substantial investment by citizens.
Please try to attend our public meeting in THE STRAND BAR in Rush @ 8pm This TUESDAY 18th JUNE to discuss what we can do to protect our public resources.