'Please allow us to keep working for Clane', say Community Employment Scheme members

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Henry Bauress

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Henry Bauress

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henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

'Please allow us to keep working for Clane', say Community Employment Scheme members

The Clane Tus team Lukasz Kowalski, team leader Annette Head, Paul Sherry and Eileen Quinn, at the Abbey in Clane

Members of a community employment scheme which carries out work for Clane Community Council would love to be able to continue to work with the scheme.

Three members of the scheme, including one who has had to step down in September, are appealing to the authorities for rules to change so that they could continue their work with the Community Council.

They are not workshy and have been glad of TUS after being made unemployed.

Two of the three, Paul Sherry and Lukasz Kowalski, from Poland, are required by rules to leave in February, after their year is up. The third, Eileen Quinlan, left in September.

Speaking to the Leader at the Abbey on December, they told how they love the work. “We have loved making Clane look presentable,” said Eileen, who loves working outdoors. “When people see it they tell us we are doing a great job.”

Annette Head, the TUS team leader, who works for the County Kildare Leadership Partnership, which is funded by a State organisation, Pobal, said at one point they were allowed four on the CCC scheme but now are only allowed two. They are now struggling to replace their volunteers.

Those on the scheme, who receive normal social welfare plus €22.

Paul Sherry, a jeweller for 26 years, said: “I enjoy this work. It gives you confidence when you see the result.”

Cllr Padraig McEvoy, who has been administering the scheme with Clane Community Council (CCC) said there has been uncertainty over two vacant posts.

He said CCC has worked with County Kildare Leader Partnership since 2011. It has hosted several teams of people who have helped with landscaping and maintenance of some of the public areas of the town. “The participants have been key to many projects and with the wider public finding it harder to get volunteer time after work hours, the TUS scheme has filled a significant gap in recent years,” he said.

“We have had two vacant posts for some months now and have not been able to find appropriate candidates through the scheme. This presents uncertainty around how a community with a 40 year track record of finding resources locally to help itself, will be able to manage the public areas in the coming year. Tidy Towns has depended on their assistance and in recent years and progress can be partially credited to those that took part in the schemes. We are forever indebted.”