A Dromore councillor has bemoaned the town’s lack of a community development worker such as the one long employed in service to the Laurencetown, Lenaderg and Tullylish Community Association.
Ulster Unionist Carol Black voiced her concern at a recent meeting of the council’s Leisure and Development committee .
Councillors there considered a LL&TCA application for funding towards expenses to be incurred in the employment of the community development worker, among other things.
The council’s Director of Leisure and Development said that historically the local authority had contributed towards the cost of a community development worker in Laurencetown as the community association had attracted additional funding by organising a summer scheme and activities for senior citizens.
Noting that a community development worker had been based in Laurencetown for the past 13 years, Councillor John Hanna expressed concern that all villages were not being treated equally.
In his opinion, he said, in order to provide equity and fairness, a community development worker should be working across a district.
Councillor Glen Barr agreed.
He said community groups in other areas needed assistance with funding applications.
Councillor Marie Hamilton agreed with a recommendation that the council grant LL&TCA £16,000 (Community Services) towards employment of the community development worker and running costs and £2,000 (Good Relations) towards an After Schools Youth Club.
She agreed too , however, that assistance should be provided in other areas.
Councillor Black likewise agreed.
The Director of Leisure and Development thatsaid Gilford Community Forum received funding of £7,000 per annum.
Rathfriland Regeneration Company received £3,000 in 2012/13 , which provided assistance with the completion of funding applications.
The director undertook to arrange for a representative of the Laurencetown, Lenaderg and Tullylish Community Association to attend the next Leisure and Development Committee Meeting on October 14.
It was agreed to postpone a decision on the funding application until then.