Meath County Council spend over €1.1m on Traveller Accommodation in 2020

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Meath County Council spend over €1.1m on Traveller Accommodation in 2020

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County-wide

Meath County Council expended over €1.1m directly on Traveller specific accommodation in 2020. This expenditure was across a number of initiatives including acquisition of housing units, halting site bay refurbishments, disability adaptations and measures to resolve overcrowding within St. Patrick Park halting site in Navan.

In 2020, the Council’s Housing Department developed a strategy to deal with the overcrowding situation in St. Patrick’s Park and deliver a number of measures to improve the living conditions for all residents and occupants of the site.  Measures included the transfer of a number of families to standard social housing and the relocation of families who occupied the green area of the site to designated bays.  A total of 21 families were successfully relocated. Measures were also put in place to safeguard the residents from any further unauthorised encampments within the site.

In response to Covid-19, eight temporary toilet and wash hand basin units (pictured above) were installed for use by the unauthorised households who did not have direct access to sanitary facilities while preparations were made to relocate the families.

Meath County Council will continue to engage on Traveller issues through the Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee (LTACC).  The committee, which meets quarterly, is comprised of Travellers, elected members, members of Traveller support groups and officials of Meath County Council.  The committee ensures that the necessary focus and resources are implemented to guarantee the accommodation needs of Travellers are strategically addressed by the Council. 

LTACC Chairperson Cllr. Yemi Adenuga added “In 2020, I visited the site in my capacity as chair of the LTACC, it was obvious that something needed to be done, proactively, about the situation. I am very proud of the renewed focus which was developed with concerted effort on behalf of the housing section of Meath County Council, which identified a strategy to deal with the overcrowding situation, and bring the matter to an amicable resolution for all parties concerned. The 'two aspect' strategy identified, enabled the transfer of 8 families from bays to standard housing, 8 families from the green area to bays, 3 families on the green area were allocated standard housing and 2 families on the green area were placed in emergency accommodation. I want to thank the housing section of Meath County Council, particularly the team working with the LTACC, and commend them for the commitment and determination with which this task was delivered."

Speaking about the work carried out by the Council in St. Patrick’s Park, Cllr. Edward Fennessy said "Last January I was invited by residents of the St. Patrick's Park Halting site to visit and witness living conditions there. I was shocked to find a serious problem with overcrowding and a number of families with young children and no access to basic services such as toilet and wash facilities or water and electricity. I am pleased with the action undertaken by Meath County Council who implemented a co-ordinated response to address the problem, all of those problems have now been addressed and life on the site is much safer for families living there. I commend management of the Council's housing section; the work they carried out has greatly improved the quality of life enjoyed by the residents of St. Patrick's Park."