Joe Behan - Independent Councillor - Wicklow County Council

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Library Shutdown Shock

Archive Statements > 2017 - July-December

Library Shutdown Shock
10th December 2017

I am appalled and outraged that Wicklow County Council is planning widespread closures and reductions in its library services after Christmas.

It is planned to close Ballywaltrim Branch Library completely and there will be no evening opening hours in Greystones from January. I have been informed that Wicklow Branch Library will also suffer severe cutbacks in opening hours and indeed other libraries nay also be affected.

This disgraceful move comes about because Wicklow County Council has failed to submit a workforce plan for 2018 to the Government and as a result a number of management vacancies have not been filled. Apparently, other counties were ready for this situation and have their workforce plans already approved. This has resulted in other counties filling jobs with people from the Wicklow Library Service, leaving the people of Wicklow, yet again, out in the cold.

It is incredible that with a new Chief Executive, with excellent management credentials, has allowed this mess to unfurl before his very eyes. It is particularly insulting that Councillors, yet again, were kept in the dark about these cutbacks when we discussed the Annual Budget for 2018 only two weeks ago. I thought this tactic of blindsiding Councillors was finished with but obviously not.

I am particularly suspicious that this is part of a management tactic to get rid of library staff altogether and replace them with staff less technology. I am calling on the Council to reverse this cynical closure decision and provide the full library service the people deserve.

Cllr. Joe Behan


Serving the people of County Wicklow since 1985 |

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