Sunday, March 19, 2023

THE cost of high-speed broadband for New Oak Community Centre is posing an issue for its roll-out, the March meeting of Carlow County Council was told.

The broadband issue was raised as councillors voted for the extension of a lease at the busy community hub for a further four years at a yearly fee of €10.

Cllr Fintan Phelan called for broadband to be added to the lease approval.

Acting chief executive Michael Rainey said this was not possible under the legislation and it would have to brought as a separate item.

“I did not want to raise it today,” replied cllr Phelan. “I raised it with the community section and got no response. This could have been totally avoidable.”

Director of services of the community section Michael Brennan rejected any suggestion that the council was not dealing with the issue.

“My team have been in contact with the chairperson of the community centre looking for solutions,” he said. “There is a substantial cost; we thought it would be small, but it’s substantial, as roads may have to be dug up.”

Mr Brennan apologised if no-one had contacted cllr Phelan, but stressed that the council had continued to consult with the centre.

The work of the community centre was also lauded by cllr Adrienne Wallace. The People Before Profit councillor said: “There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes … you have Ukrainian support meetings, knitting, weight-loss programmes. We should celebrate the work the board do and wish them every success.”

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