Fingal Council should not discriminate against political parties and activists

Local election candidate calls on council to change room hire policy

Balbriggan Social Democrats local election candidate Garrett Mullan is calling on Fingal  Council to change its room hire policy, as it currently applies to the 22 council community centres and other facilities.

He explained: ‘I wanted to host a meeting on how new policy on sports funding is needed and how a new policy should support councils to deliver sports facilities.  Hiring meeting rooms is quite a challenge.  Hotels are expensive and pubs are inappropriate for many people, so I thought the most appropriate venue to discuss council services would be in a council building.  However I was told that as a political party, I was forbidden from booking a room at Balbriggan Town Hall’.

This is the reply received from Fingal Council in response to the request:

‘Unfortunately, the council is not in a position to accommodate your booking.  The Council’s Community Centres are covered by a policy of not allowing political meetings to take place and the Balbriggan Town Hall must also adhere to this policy’.

Mullan added: ‘Two new community centres have opened in Balbriggan and they are used by many groups from art and dance classes to 5 aside and even church groups, but for some reason unelected officials at Fingal Council has decided that political parties are not allowed use rooms in these community centres.

Cllr Paul Mulville for Lusk/ Donabate ward said: ‘It is an undemocratic and regressive policy and one which the council management put in place behind closed doors without any public consultation, nor by public vote or approval of the elected councillors.  It is wrong and must change now’.

Council policy for room bookings: http://www.fingalcoco.ie/media/Policy%20for%20use%20of%20Facilities%20Meeting%20Rooms%20and%20Hall%20June%202016.pdf

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