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Galway City Council remains silent on shocking cost of two ‘parklets’ 

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From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway City Council remains silent on shocking cost of two ‘parklets’  Galway City Council remains silent on shocking cost of two ‘parklets’ 

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

Three weeks ago today (Friday), this newspaper revealed the mounting cost to Galway City Council of providing two ‘parklets’ on two city streets.

And still the local authority has remained silent. No comment from Galway City Council. And no comment from City Hall to confirm that they were not providing a comment. Nothing.

Requests for comment simply go unanswered by the Communications Office of Galway City Council.

The local authority has spent €153,000 so far on commissioning the street furniture at Middle Street and Dominick Street.

When all creditors are paid, that figure will jump to close on €250,000, according to documents released to the Galway City Tribune under Freedom of Information.

The Council was asked for comment on this expenditure of public money, first, on June 21 and again on July 3. Tumbleweed on both occasions. At the time of writing, 12.30pm yesterday, Thursday, still no reply.

Presumably, someone, somewhere in the bowels of City Hall signed off on this spending for two pieces of street furniture. And presumably, when they signed off on it, they believed that it was a good idea to commission them.

So why not explain that rationale to the public who fund the City Council through commercial rates and Local Property Tax?

Maybe the Council was simply following orders from a Government Department higher up the chain. Well, then, say so.

It’s not like the Council has gone off grid. Far from it. In recent weeks, its Communications Office has published a series of podcasts, giving voice to its workers. Though it is essentially PR fluff, it is a great idea. The podcasts positively portray people within the organisation, and highlight what public service is all about. Its social media has been updated regularly, too.

But City Hall must take the rough with the smooth. It cannot just ignore press queries it doesn’t like, or feels uncomfortable answering, in the hope that these will go away.

It seems obvious, but the City Council Communications Office needs to communicate.

This is a shortened preview version of this column. For more Bradley Bytes, see the July 14 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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