Social Democrats Candidate for Wicklow, Cllr. Jennifer Whitmore has called on Wicklow County Council to prioritise the development of co-working hubs across Wicklow county, following the publishing of the results of the Council’s commuting survey.
Speaking after WCC’s monthly meeting, Cllr. Whitmore said “At our meeting today, we were presented with the results of the commuting survey commissioned by Council officials. It was an excellent piece of work, with over 6,000 commuters surveyed and I commend the Council for the foresight in undertaking this work. Significantly, one of the main (and unsurprising) take-away points was that 74% of Wicklow’s 60,000k commuters are unhappy with their commute and 70% would take a similar job if it was available in Wicklow. Interestingly, 49% of commuters would be open to using a co-working hub.”
“This is a very significant finding and I believe that WCC should prioritise and facilitate the development of co-working hubs. Hubs would allow some commuters to ‘work from home’, and this would ease the pressure on our public transport and road network. It would mean a reduced carbon footprint for people. It would give families a much better work-life balance and allow people the time to spend with their families or contribute to their communities. I also believe that it would be a game changer for our towns and villages, as it would mean that people would be working, lunching and shopping in their towns again. And, of course, this would revitalise our local economies. This really is a win-win situation.”
“However, it is important to provide the right kind of facilities in a co-working space in order to make it attractive to commuters. It would need to have tele- and video-conferencing facilities, meeting rooms and canteen area. Preferably it would be in a central location, near public transport.”
“I also believe that a creche facility should be provided to encourage and facilitate parents, mainly women, to return to the workforce. A drop-in creche would be the best model in my opinion, as it would provide flexibility for parents and would mean that they could even just use the hub to hold a meeting, whilst their child was being minded elsewhere in the building. This would be the first time this approach has been used, and I think it is this kind of innovative service that would ensure the success of the hub.”
Whitmore continued “I have previously developed a proposal in relation to the building of these co-working hubs across the county and have had discussions with WCC about the possibility of getting funding for them. Hopefully, the work done as part of this survey will provide the evidence required to successfully get government funding for these important facilities.”