Donegal County Council and the Ballybofey and Stranorlar Chamber of Commerce have embarked on a trial of a new approach to the upkeep of the public realm in the Twin Towns.
The new arrangement will see the Council allocating a proportion of the car parking charges collected in the Twin Towns to provide grant assistance to the Chamber to help with the upkeep of the public realm.
This will include:
– maintaining an attractive and inviting town centre
– ensuring high levels of cleanliness and maintenance
– addressing commercial property dereliction
– improving walkability and access
– increasing environmental, biodiversity and other ‘greening’ programmes
It is also hoped that the new arrangement will help address the care and maintenance of a number of small open and communal spaces in the towns, e.g. The Pound, small laybys in Ballybofey, the walkway from Jackson’s to Blue Cedars, etc.
The Chamber are in the process of recruiting an Outdoor Works Manager to oversee the works.
Cllr. Patrick McGowan, who initially proposed the use of the car parking charges and who has been instrumental in getting agreement between the Council and the Chamber, welcomed the grant.
He said “This is a great day for the Twin Towns. The grant will provide much needed funds and will generate a strong sense of local ownership of our public spaces. People will be able to see in the coming months and years the very real difference that a community group can make when adequately resourced.’
The Council’s Director of Roads and Transportation, Bryan Cannon, also welcomed the new arrangemen.
He said “The Council have been actively supporting local groups around the county over many years albeit with very limited resources. The availability of parking charges revenue together with a very active local group in Ballybofey and Stranorlar gives us an opportunity to go further here than would otherwise have been possible.
“Credit must be given to my predecessor as Director of Service for Roads and Transportation Brendan O’Donnell and the Roads Area Team for their work on bringing this initiative to fruition along with the Chamber. Indeed, if the trial is successful it could be a good model for similar arrangements in other locations.’