The voluntary spirit and local know-how that has helped develop and improve community life in Ballybeg over two decades could be irrevocably damaged by a cut-hungry Government.
This over-riding fear was relayed to The Munster Express by the voluntary committee which co-ordinates the Ballybeg Community Development Project (CDP), a group anxious to prevent further disenfranchisement of the area.
Government policy, which has already led to the shutting down of 29 CDPs across the country, appears intent on merging CDPs with the relevant local area partnerships.
This approach would eradicate the autonomy that existing CDP managements use to serve the needs of their community, potentially handing management decisions over to persons who may not even live in the affected area.
According to Ballybeg CDP Co-ordinator, Liz Riches, such a rationalisation would lead to the eradication of a vital link in the community chain.
“We’ve been informed that the management committee will have to be disbanded, and that the dismantling of the CDP as a company, effectively winding down the CDP as we know it, has to take place between June and December,” she said.
at we don’t know what awaits come January of next year. The four staff members here will still be employed, only by a different body. But by the end of 2011, I believe, is when we’re likely to see a change, a change that won’t be in the best interests of the people of Ballybeg.”
That change, which may also threaten the community function of the building the CDP is based in, will almost certainly lead to a deterioration in vital community services in Ballybeg.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.