Services in Civic Centre may be amalgamated

By Maurice Garvey

A PROPOSAL to amalgamate two separate services that run Ballyfermot Civic Centre is currently being considered.

A unique situation has two management structures in the building “co-existing”, with the centre partly run by Dublin City Council and Ballyfermot Community Association.

ballyfermotcivic1 compressor

Ballyfermot Civic Centre

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said: “Discussions are ongoing with the two companies currently operating the Ballyfermot Civic Centre with a view to the development of a single integrated structure.

“The purpose of this change is to ensure that the local community continues to get a very good service from the centre and indeed to work together with Dublin City Council (Area Office) on improving the services provided in the building further.”

The proposal has raised “serious concerns amongst some elements of staff”, according to Cllr Daithí Doolan.

Speaking at the recent area meeting, Cllr Doolan said: “Any proposal needs to retain the services of community-based and not for profit, that jobs will be protected and there is no attempt to privatise the services or coffee shop.”

He said an emergency motion he put forward on the matter was to “send out clear message” that there will be no privatisation of the services.

Cllr Hazel De Nortúin supported the calls for the building to be retained for community use and not privatised.

She said it was important not to “create a vacuum or perfect storm” in the community arising from talks between the two parties.

“I welcome the change, because I think operating under two structures has been very difficult,” said Cllr De Nortúin.

Cllr Vincent Jackson said the “old centre” in its present guise is “well past it’s sell-by date.”

As a board member of the Civic Centre, Cllr Jackson also welcomed the proposal.

“This is something in the offing for a long time and it will create huge additional pluses for the people of Ballyfermot with the synergies and usage of the centre. As someone who is in a number of community buildings with young people, the city council is the best landlord that anybody has ever had.

“Obviously the leases are very low but with the scope of what you can do once you fulfil the criteria, I think this will be a win win for everyone.” 

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