Local Fine Gael Councillor, John Dolan, has called on the Athlone-Moate Municipal District (AMMD ) to employ seasonal staff to help cover busy periods and holidays.
Addressing the most recent virtually hosted meeting of the AMMD, Cllr Dolan, stated that the need was great to employ college students particularly during the summer months.
“There is certainly no shortage of jobs that require attention, particularly during our peak season as a local authority. These jobs are not solely focussed in Athlone but throughout the AMMD,” Cllr Dolan asserted.
Concurring, Athlone Deputy Mayor, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke, was of the view that the town centre of Athlone and immediate surrounds was not at its presentation best this past summer season noting that it would be appropriate for the local authority to employ relevant seasonal personnel to ensure necessary work is conducted within the AMMD.
“I believe that we don’t compare favourable from a presentation perspective with fellow provincial towns and this must be addressed if we are to continue attracting visitors to our town,” Cllr O’Rourke stated.
District Mayor, Cllr Liam McDaniel, noted the benefit of employing seasonal staff during his time as a Bord na Mona employee.
“Seasonal staff employed during my time with Bord na Mona were wholly beneficial to the company and in that regard I give my full support to Cllr Dolan’s motion,” Cllr McDaniel remarked.
In response, the Councillors were informed by the local authority executive that staff resources in the AMMD are provided on the basis of the required service delivery for the District, in the context of the scale of the District, responsibilities and budgetary provisions.
“Such staff resources should be sufficient to deal with holidays and busy periods. However, there is additional pressure at times due to various factors and these are responded to as they arise by calling in resources from outside the District or the use of external contractors. It can be difficult to deal with these fluctuations using seasonal temporary staff, due to the training required, in both indoor and outdoor roles,” director of services, Barry Kehoe stated.