independent

Sunday 17 February 2019

No more 'drop in' housing clinics

Cllr Mick Roche: ‘backward step’.
Cllr Mick Roche: ‘backward step’.

Maria Pepper at the Wexford Municipal Borough meeting

Weekly drop-in housing clinics will no longer be held at Council offices in the county's four main towns and people who wish to speak to a member of staff will be given an appointment for a specified time slot instead.

Senior Housing Officer Niall McCabe told a Wexford District Council meeting that the system of open clinics is being replaced by an appointment rota and visitors who make an arrangement in advance will be allotted 15 minutes to talk to an official.

The change received a mixed reaction from local councillors with Cllr. Mick Roche of Sinn Fin describing it as a 'backward step', in his view.

'If you go to the Wexford clinic on a Thursday morning, you could have 30 or 40 people waiting there. I don't see how this is going to work.'

'You're allowing 15 minute slots for each person - a lot of consultations would take longer than that', he said.

Cllr. David Hynes also disagreed with the proposed new system, saying that many of the people who find themselves in a housing crisis don't always have the luxury of ringing and making an appointment.

'What happens if someone goes up and doesn't have an appointment', he asked.

Mr. McCabe said there will be no facility for out of schedule appointments.

'What we're finding is that there are a lot of repeat people coming back three to four weeks in a row, asking the same questions and getting the same answers.'

'We're trying to make sure that we're allowing time for people of genuine need', he added.

Cllr. Jim Moore said he thought the idea of providing time slots would be a help while Cllr. George Lawlor described it as a good move'.

'You have people waiting around all morning to speak to someone. I think this is a more organised move and it will be less stressful on the people using the service', said Cllr. Lawlor.

Wexford People

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