Speaking at the adoption of the Traveller Accommodation Programme at the January Meeting of Kilkenny County Council, Councillor Malcolm Noonan commended Council staff and other agencies such as KCAN working on Traveller Development issues on progress over the life of the previous plan but stated that there remains significant challenges in bringing about acceptable living standards for traveller families in some areas of the City and County.
He stated that while good progress has been made in the accommodation programme in Hebron, the same could not be said for the Wetlands Halting Site. He also called on Kilkenny Local Authorities to take on board the recommendations from the submission of the Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) in relation to the Wetlands site and observed that the retaining wall surrounding the site should be dismantled, questioning its legality in terms of planning guidelines for traveller accommodation.
‘While welcoming the adoption of measures in the plan to address the upgrade and refurbishment of traveller accommodation in Kilkenny, I would also ask that the transient culture that still prevails in some traveller families, be respected and accommodated where possible. Much work also needs to be done in terms of developing capacity within the traveller community and addressing issues of poverty and educational disadvantage. I am disappointed that the traveller horse project failed to materialise in the county. Organisations such as KCAN have done groundbreaking work with traveller women and I think that we as local authorities should support such initiatives’ he stated.
The Traveller Accommodation Programme covers a period from 2009 to 2014 and was prepared with consultation from the Local Traveller Consultative Committee and the Housing Strategic Policy Committee of Kilkenny County Council