SOME Macroom locals have given a thumbs down to two street canopies that will allow people to dine outside while practising social distancing.
At a recent meeting of the Macroom Municipal District in Kilmurry Museum, Cllr Martin Coughlan (Ind) said that all he has received so far is ‘negativity’ about them.
Located by the Town Hall and on South Square, the two canopies are due to be equipped with accessibility friendly picnic benches and planters shortly.
Similar canopies have also been erected in Millstreet as part of Cork County Council’s Project ACT.
‘All I’m hearing is that they are taking up parking spaces and that they are in the wrong places,’ said Cllr Coughlan.
‘If I was asked tomorrow morning I would say take them down and give them to somebody who appreciates them.
‘I’m sick of people saying it to me, to my wife, to members of my family and to the Tidy Towns Group and they need to know that it was a Council decision.’
Senior executive officer Nicola Radley said there had been a public consultation with all concerned stakeholders beforehand.
‘What didn’t help, though, was because of Covid-19 there has been a delay in the supply chain materials which could not have been avoided and things were ordered weeks ago and if people bear with us they will be able to enjoy these canopies,’ she said.’
She also said that other towns are looking to Macroom and Millstreet to achieve the same as most of them didn’t put in canopied seating and that both towns are now ‘ahead of the curve.’
Cllr Michael Creed (FG) said he got a mixed reaction on them and noted that some people were parking under there at the moment.
‘Once the benches are put in it will settle down and people will see the benefit of them,’ said Cllr Creed.
Cllr Ted Lucey (FG) said some people are just afraid that both places will turn into a drinking spot as they are located across from two pubs and he said it’s the ‘empty effect’ at the moment that’s really annoying people.
Cllr Eileen Lynch (FG) said that once it’s properly done a lot of that feedback will dissipate.
‘I don’t think this information was filtered back to the groups by the reps who attended these meetings,’ she said.
Cllr Gobnait Moynihan (FF) said the issue is that they are not finished and said that if people look forward they will be very useful for outdoor dining.