Kilkenny County Council’s become the third local authority to adopt the Self Help Scheme.
Following in the footsteps of colleagues in Carlow and Kildare, an annual fund, initially €50,000, can be applied to by tenants across Kilkenny, with individual grants capped at €1,250.
In a presentation to councillors this week Michael Murphy and Director of Services Mary Mulholland outlined eligibility criteria and more.
Cllr Eugene McGuinness called for more clarity on what is and isn’t covered by the money but all of the elected representatives were in the main positive about the plan, among them Cllr Martin Brett who told KCLR News “From a council perspective, to encourage people to look after the house they’ve been allocated and the more that that situation is there, the better the quality of the house and more importantly it’ll take an awful lot of pressure off ourselves, at the moment obviously you have a certain amount of people who want x, y and a z and you’re trying to cater as much as you can for everybody but if you have people who are interested in their home it adds an awful lot”.
The elected representatives heard that there are currently 16 outdoor staff, but three are currently not working having retired or out due to long-term illness.
Cllr Brett had queried if there are enough people to ensure the work involved, on top of the existing load, would get done; he says “My problem was that okay, I just felt as a council we’re probably under a bit of pressure from a maintenance perspective, my thinking when I asked the question was were we going to get more staff and I got the impression from the way that he was talking or from the answer I got that it would entail more staff coming into the system”.
And he adds “As anybody would tell you the amount of trained personnel, and when I say trained I’m talking about tradespeople who are in the system who are available, is not as many as you would think, so if this Self Help Scheme brings in more staff and allows more staff to be employed I think it would be great”.