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Clara planning for the next three years

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Clara planning for the next three years thumbnailPictured at the Clara Bog Visitor centre on judgement day in the Bank of Ireland National Enterprising Town initiative were judges Eddie Breen, Jacqui Gollogly and Tom Dowling plus members of Clara Community Council

PLANS have been finalised to carry out a community wide review of the needs and priorities for Clara from the period 2018-2020.

A series of meetings have been arranged to provide representatives from all sectors in the town with an opportunity to identify specific actions that need to be implemented over the next three years. The meetings have been organised by the 'Steering Group of the Clara Community Action Plan'.

Commenting on the plan, the chairperson Tim McMahon said: "The people of Clara have worked hard to maximise the involvement of the town in the 'Building Healthy Communities' initiative over the past seven years. The emergence of the Clara Community Action Plan provided a focus to address a number of issues that had been identified by local people following an extensive consultation process.

Providing a community playground, operating the Warmer Homes and Senior Alert schemes and establishing the Youth Zone are just a few of the many successes that have taken place in Clara as a direct result of the local people making things happen".

The efforts of the community in Clara have not gone unnoticed. The town was nominated by the County Council to represent Offaly in the 'Pride of Place' awards in 2015 and more recently in the 'Enterprising Town' competition which earned a Special Merit award for Clara Family Resource centre.

''Our challenge now is to build on what has been achieved to date and to harness the huge level of community spirit and pride that exists in our town so that we can plan for prosperity," outlined Mr McMahon.

Meetings have been organised on a sector basis, so participants will have some common areas of interest. Each session will be facilitated by Deirdre Fox, a self-employed practitioner in community, rural and enterprise development. Deirdre has been engaged by the Steering Group with the support of Offaly Local Development Company.

Invitations have been sent to all the various groups in the community including voluntary sectors, sporting, social, environmental and the arts. Invitations have also been sent to the enterprise and education sectors including business, commerce and local schools. The timetable for the meetings are:

Young People - Family Resource Centre -Tuesday, January 19.00-20-30.

Environment - Clara GAA Old Convent - Thursday, January 11. 19.00-20.30.

Tourism - Library - Tuesday January 16.19.00-20.30

Enterprise - Corporate & Commercial - The Mill House Lounge -Thursday January, 18.19.00-20.30

Sport - Clara GAA Old Convent - Tuesday January 23. 19.00-20.30.

Education - St Francis Boys School - Thursday, January 25. 19.00-20.30

Social - Family Resource Centre -Tuesday January 30. 19.00-20.30

Heritage - Kilbride Creche Centre -Thursday February 1. 19.00-20.30

All groups and business people in Clara who receive invitations are urged to nominate at least one representative to attend the respective session outlined in the letter.

''It has been proven that by working together a lot can be achieved for our community,'' concluded Tim McMahon.

Further information from Tim McMahon at 0851740453 or by email at claraactionplan@gmail.com

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