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October 30, 2012

Site Identified for New Community Welfare Public Office in Naas

Emmet Stagg Deputy Emmet Stagg has been advised by the Mid Leinster Divisional Manager of the Department of Social Protection that a site has now been identified for the provision of a New Community Welfare Public Office for Naas, at the old FAS offices in Rathasker Square.

Deputy Stagg has been further advised that plans for the renovation of the Rathasker premises have been approved and that work will commence over the coming weeks on the office following a tender process. Deputy Stagg has sought a timetable on the completion of the renovation works and when the Office will open to the Public.

Welcoming this move forward Deputy Stagg stated that the meeting he arranged on July 18th with Minister Joan Burton T.D., his fellow North Kildare T.D.'s and Pat Dowling and Timmy Conway from the Naas Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul, had the desired effect of putting pressure on the Department to deliver a Public Office. Having viewed both the Town Hall and the Old FAS Office the Departments Property Management Section had come down in favour of the old FAS office.

Deputy Stagg also stated that people currently seeking assistance with Mortgage Payments, Rental payments, Exceptional Needs payments or people seeking Supplementary Welfare Payments, have to use a postal based or freephone service to access their entitlements. This is a rather impersonal way to transact business when you need support even though the Local Community Welfare Officers did their best through follow up home visits. In addition to the fact that no public office was available the Local Community Welfare Officers are operating under immense pressure due to the increased numbers of people seeking assistance due to the recession.

In conclusion Deputy Stagg stated that he was very pleased with the progress and looked forward to hearing further on the expected opening timeframe for the office.