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  • Northside East

Change to room hire policy urged

Saturday, 30th March, 2019 9:00am
Change to room hire policy urged

Garrett Mullan (SD) is urging the council to change its room hire policy.

Change to room hire policy urged

Garrett Mullan (SD) is urging the council to change its room hire policy.

A NORTHSIDE local election candidate is calling on Fingal County Council to change its room hire policy after he was unable to hold a meeting in his area.

Garrett Mullan, who will be contesting the elections in May for the Social Democrats in the Balbriggan Local Electoral Area (LEA), said he wanted to host a meeting on how new policy on sports funding is needed and how it should support councils to deliver sports facilities. 

“Hiring meeting rooms is quite a challenge,” Mr Mullan told Northside People.   

“Hotels are expensive and pubs are inappropriate for many people, so I thought the most appropriate venue to discuss council services would be in a council building. However, I was told that as a political party, I was forbidden from booking a room at Balbriggan Town Hall.”

The council told Mr Mullan: “Unfortunately, the council is not in a position to accommodate your booking. The council’s community centres are covered by a policy of not allowing political meetings to take place and the Balbriggan Town Hall must also adhere to this policy.” 

Mr Mullan added: “Two new community centres have opened in Balbriggan and they are used by many groups from art and dance classes to five-aside (football) and even church groups, but for some reason unelected officials at Fingal Council has decided that political parties are not allowed use rooms in these community centres.”

Cllr Paul Mulville (SD), who represents the Lusk/ Donabate LEA, said: “It is an undemocratic and regressive policy and one which the council management put in place behind closed doors without any public consultation, nor by public vote or approval of the elected councillors. It is wrong and must change now.”

A spokesperson for Fingal County Council told Northside People: “The matter of the use of public and publicly funded community facilities for political purposes is listed to be the subject of consideration by the members of the county council at forthcoming committee and council meetings.”

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