IMPACT is currently campaigning to protect library and fire services from amalgamation in a number of counties, with a concerted effort to organise the lobbying of general election candidates in the communities where amalgamations have been proposed.
Proposals to amalgamate library services in Carlow, Cavan, Cork, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath have been the subject of a continuing campaign by the union since early 2015. The union is also campaigning against the proposed amalgamation of fire services in Carlow, Cavan, Galway, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath.
IMPACT national secretary Peter Nolan said the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government had published proposals to amalgamate fire and library services, and that these proposals have been promoted and supported by the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA), based in Dublin.
“IMPACT has established that the proposals are not driven by concern about costs. We believe that the proposals are the last remaining attempt to erode local democracy in the affected areas. As a consequence, the opportunity to maintain control of library and fire services will either be lost or substantially diminished in these communities,” he said.
IMPACT commenced a lobbying campaign, in January 2015, to retain fire and library services in counties where amalgamations were proposed. The union also met Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly last December to discuss the proposals and outline the union’s concerns.
IMPACT has mobilised community support to oppose the proposals and has now stepped up its campaign by mobilising branches in each area to write to local councillors and election candidates.
Union representatives met the Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Alan Kelly TD, in December, to outline their concerns. The minister has committed to considering the union’s position.
The union has gained the support of the Kilkenny Council of Trade Unions as part of the union’s campaign to prevent the amalgamation of fire services in Carlow/Kilkenny, and to highlight the threat of a similar proposal for library services in the two counties.
Peter said “The overwhelming majority of local elected representatives have supported the campaign, and Carlow County Council and Kilkenny County Council have also adopted supporting motions.
“We have also encouraged IMPACT members in Carlow and Kilkenny, who number almost 1,000, either to write to their local election candidates or question their position, and that of their party, when they appear on their doorsteps,” he said.
Get involved, write to your local representatives and election candidates – Keep Your Local Fire and Library Services – Sample Letters