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Action demanded on Newbridge youth facility

Youth Action Newbridge protest outside Kildare County Council chambers.

Youth Action Newbridge protest outside Kildare County Council chambers.

A Newbridge councillor has demanded action be taken to organise a meeting with all the stakeholders involved in providing a multi-purpose youth facility in Newbridge.

Cllr. O’Loughlin vented her frustration with the lack of progress on the issue at the Kildare Area Committee meeting last Wednesday April 16.

She asked, that in light of the machinery yard being zoned to accommodate the facility, and “that there has been a distinct lack of engagement since December 23 when a commitment was made regarding a potential site on Educational and Training Board (ETB) lands, that the area committee commit to supporting the installation of the youth building and skateboard park at the machinery yard.”

In response, the council said it has been progressing the use of the EBT site for a skatepark and youth facility and it had put together design proposals which would accommodate the needs of the various users.

“A meeting has been arranged with the ETB to discuss these proposals,” it said. The officials added that the members would be updated once the designs had been discussed with the ETB.

Cllr. O’Loughlin said she was unhappy with this response. She said a commitment was given that a meeting would be arranged between Newbridge Athletic Club, the ETB, The Skateboard Park and Youth Group, the council, and Newbridge Community Development (NCD), who are custodians of the prefabricated youth building, which is currently in storage. The place where it is stored is due to be sold and there are fears over what will happen to the building, which was donated to the community.

“That meeting has not happened,” explained Cllr. O’Loughlin. She said the Athletic’s Club has appealed the council’s decision to grant permission for a school on the site. She explained how they were only offered a five-year lease, and not a ten year lease as originally proposed, and the plans would see them move from their current location.

“Newbridge Athletic Club have done tremendous work in the town since 1942,” she said.

“It’s been four months now with no progress and it’s an awful indictment on us as a council. I do not accept this report,” she said.

Cllr. Spike Nolan said it was regrettable that nothing has happened. He asked that the ETB engage with all the stakeholders in a meaningful way.

 

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