Contracts signed to tackle poverty throughout Waterford

Pictured as contracts were signed on a €3m programme to tackle poverty and inequality in Waterford were, from left: Michael Quinn (Director of Services, Waterford City & County Council), Cllr James Tobin (Mayor of Waterford City and County) and Cllr Mary Roche (Chair, Waterford Area Partnership). 				| Photo: Aileen Drohan/Photozone

Pictured as contracts were signed on a €3m programme to tackle poverty and inequality in Waterford were, from left: Michael Quinn (Director of Services, Waterford City & County Council), Cllr James Tobin (Mayor of Waterford City and County) and Cllr Mary Roche (Chair, Waterford Area Partnership). | Photo: Aileen Drohan/Photozone

Contracts signed in Dungarvan last week will see some €3m invested in projects to tackle poverty and promote social inclusion and equality in Waterford city and county through to 2017.

SICAP (Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme), which is being rolled out nationally by the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government, will be delivered on behalf of the Local Community Development Committee in Waterford by Waterford Area Partnership.

Mayor James Tobin, who chairs the Local Community Development Committee and was joined by Cllr Mary Roche (Chair, Waterford Area Partnership) at the contract-signing in the Civic Offices, Dungarvan.

Said Cllr Tobin: “There can be few issues more important than addressing the issue of poverty in our urban and rural communities.

“Too many individuals and families are still marginalised and we need a coordinated response to delivering services that address genuine need and also help stop poverty transferring from one generation to the next.
In short, we need equal opportunities for people who rightly want a better future for themselves and their families.

“The target groups for this three-year programme include the unemployed; those living in disadvantaged areas; lone parents; new communities; people with disabilities and members of the Travelling and Roma communities.”

According to Cllr Roche: “With a track record over almost 20 years, Waterford Area Partnership is delighted to have been selected to work with the Local Community Development Committee over the three years to 2017. The type of local, community-based interventions that we can support in a structured way across Waterford city and county can make a huge and lasting difference to people’s lives.”

She added: “Improving access to education at all levels and helping people become more employable will be a key focus while I also particularly look forward to seeing more ‘joined up thinking’ and greater coordination in how services are delivered to people and communities so that we avoid any duplication or gaps in provision.

“Poverty and being socially marginalised are strong indicators for poor health and long-term reliance on the State so successful interventions can also be cost-effective in the longer term.”

Waterford Area Partnership (www.wap.ie) will host a series of information meetings for interested groups in the city and county once detailed guidelines for SICAP have been finalised.

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