South West Clondalkin residents to be surveyed to help tackle anti-social behaviour
By Maurice Garvey
THE South West Clondalkin Community Forum are preparing to conduct an extensive survey of the Bawnogue area in an effort to respond to key issues affecting residents.
Approximately 4,000 letters are to be delivered to households in Bawnogue and the wider community during December.
Richard Costello, CSF Development Manager, said: “The focus is the quality of life in relation to crime and anti-social behaviour.
It’s the first time a statistical analysis will be formed of what people are experiencing, and it will help us form a response.
“It is being funded by the council, task force and local area project, to highlight issues and hopefully leverage for more resources. The survey will also provide an opportunity to respond to domestic violence and racism, as it is filled out anonymously.”
Based in Ace Enteprise Park in Bawnogue, Costello acknowledges the location is vitally important for the forum.
“It is vital that we are in the heart of the community, and given that we are in Ace, we are very grateful for that,” he said.
The forum was established 14 years ago, to address the concerns of the community in a wide range of issues, from drugs and anti-social behaviour, to domestic violence and homeless services.
Like other community organisations across the board, the forum has suffered crippling budget cuts over the last six years.
Mr Costello says this remains a key challenge as they continue to forge ahead on a range of community initiatives.
“Budget cuts have decimated groups like the forum, and it is the community that suffers,” said Costello.
“In my role, I’m only there 17 hours a week on a part-time basis. We rely on volunteers. There is a direct link between drugs and anti-social behaviour, particularly with younger people, but again, the limitations are the lack of resources.”
Two community-safety forums serve Clondalkin, with local stakeholders, including gardaí and public representatives, meeting up regularly to report on progress.
The forum has been heavily involved in trying to improve conditions at St Cuthbert’s Park, which has gotten out of control with joyriding, burnt-out cars, intimidation and dumping on a weekly basis.
“It has the highest levels of what we consider anti-social behaviour,” said Costello.
“That has been the case for a number of years and is a focus of the forum. The park is somewhere you would expect all members of the community to be able to use. It is a difficult one to address, as it’s open access 24/7. Sadly, the council are not taking the issue as seriously as we’d like.”