€71,000 from Minister Burke to support outdoor summer in Westmeath

Minister Peter Burke has announced a €4 million fund to provide further financial support to each local authority to ensure sufficient provision is made for bins, waste collection and portaloos where necessary as well as any further measures required at key locations ahead of an outdoor summer.

He confirmed that Westmeath is to benefit to the tune of €70,963.

“I am delighted to announce this funding ahead of the long weekend when hopefully families and individuals can enjoy all the benefits the outdoors can offer.

“Councils have been working hard to ensure our public spaces can be enjoyed by everybody in a safe and responsible way and this funding will further support these efforts.

“Councils can use the funding in a flexible manner, and tailor the supports to popular outdoor locations which experience higher volumes of traffic over the summer months.

“Each local authority will get a minimum of €50,000 – which I think is an important feature of the scheme – we are all aware of the pressure in places like Dublin City Council and other urban areas – however we also need the supports in provincial towns like Mullingar as we have seen how busy our public parks and lake amenities have been and we must ensure that the council are equipped to provide more bins and collect them more often.

"They money can also be utilised to support pedestrianisation of streets and outdoor street furniture.

“I want to pay tribute to the local authority teams who are already out multiple times each day cleaning our streets and I would urge people to take personal responsibility too – it goes without saying that individual behaviour and personal responsibility are crucial in helping us all to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors this summer.

“I have had intense engagement with both the gardaí and our local authorities in recent weeks and I know local authorities have been liaising with businesses and reconfiguring public spaces where necessary.

"The government is doing everything in its power to give the both the public and the hospitality sector the best chance of a safe and enjoyable outdoor summer while promoting businesses in both our urban and rural locations.

“I look forward to the further re-opening in the weeks ahead as we transition out of the Covid-19 pandemic.”