Friday 16 March 2007

Plans to house new facility at former library in Blessington Council considers day care centre proposal

Wicklow County Council is considering a proposal to make the former council engineer's office and library in Blessington available to the local community for use as a day care centre for the elderly.

The council has opened new offices in the town leaving the old premises vacant.

Cllr Jim Ruttle raised the matter in September and received unanimous support from his fellow councillors.

Since then the Health Service Executive has carried out a report on the building and was committed to the idea that there should be a day care centre in Blessington, he said.

The councillor explained elderly people in Blessington wishing to attend the day care facility in Baltinglass Hospital faced a 40 mile round trip.

Senior executive officer, Lorraine Gallagher, told Monday's meeting of the Council that the council had been in communication with the HSE about the property regarding their proposal for an outreach service.

It was the council intention to use the proceeds of the sale of the library and engineer's office to offset expenditure in the area.

Council chairman, Joe Behan reminded the county manager that councillors made a policy decision in September that the premises should be used as a day care centre.

He said the officials may have a different idea but the councillors had already made the decision. He called on council management to put that decision in to action.

County manager, Eddie Sheehy, said they were anxious to reach an agreement with the HSE and was exploring the idea of a land swap with the health service. He hoped to finalise matters within four to six weeks.

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