Covid cases has led to ‘challenges’ for council staff

THERE was 26 cases of Covid amongst staff in South Dublin County Council in the first ten days of January - whereas between March to December 2020, the local authority had just 15 cases of Covid.

Speaking at the monthly council meeting on Monday, January 11, council Chief Executive Daniel McLoughlin said the first ten days of the year has also seen 33 cases of close contacts, compared to 20 cases of close contacts in 2020.

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This has led to “challenges” within the organisation according to Mr McLoughlin, who cited a “level of anxiety” and the need for “redeployment of staff” into other areas.

South Dublin County Council have over 1,100 staff but Level 5 restrictions have also had a major impact on numerous projects, including housing and roadworks.

“Construction is a big issue for us, we had a lot of construction (projects planned) in January,” said Mr McLoughlin.

“We had to stand down a range of projects, the new road in Grange Cross Business Park, Tymon Library, two parks and all housing projects.”

Level 5 restrictions meant that construction was to close on January 8, with limited exceptions including social housing projects and voids designated as essential by local authorities.

However, Mr McLoughlin said social housing is not currently going ahead “apart from snagging issues” which the council are capable of completing, and these works have been pushed out to February 28.

“279 houses are on that list, many people (tenants) were notified before Christmas. Of the 279 in total, 109 in Corkagh Grange are part of that.”

Housing and roadworks have all “slowed down” as a result of Level 5, and some projects that were due to be completed by the end of the year, have already been carried over into 2022.

Mr McLoughlin said they were utilising a “temporary reprieve” to “tidy up” finishing works on roundabouts in Belgard, Wellington and Monastery Road.

“This is temporary and not in any way a defiance to government decisions,” he said.

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