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Westgate Retail Park, Tramore Road, Waterford.

The People’s Transition – Larchville & Lisduggan

‘More than half (55%) (of survey respondents) described keeping their house warm as a significant challenge, and 54% felt that their home suffers from dampness. 43% said that mould at home was an issue. Difficulty keeping one’s home warm was not limited to the community survey. Participants in focus groups spoke about how people in the community are struggling with the price of coal and gas and are restricting their heating as a result.’ The People’s Transition Larchville & Lisduggan 2024.

On Wednesday 5th June 2024 the Think-tank for Action on Social Change (TASC), in collaboration with Waterford Area Partnership (WAP) and the communities of Larchville & Lisdggan launched a report entitled The People’ Transition Larchville and Lisduggan at an Inter-Agency Stakeholders Session held in St.Paul’s Parish Centre.

The engagement process identified a range of community development needs, key to these being: sustainable pathways for young people away from crime, and education, training, and employment opportunities. Participants also spoke about the need for warmer homes and described how rising costs of living and mental health issues impact many across the community.

The report outlines a number of recommendations to address the identified needs including: an increase in urban green space for improved mental health, and establishing a repair café in the community, ‘linking climate action to the need for intergenerational and informal skills development in a community setting’.

One of the principal recommendations from the report is for a ‘whole community’ approach to retrofitting homes in Larchville and Lisduggan. As well as aligning with national and local climate policy, Waterford City and County Council has particular influence over the future of Larchville and Lisduggan owing to the fact that the streets and green space are classified as publicly maintained land and its ownership of a significant proportion of homes in the community.

A central recommendation from the report is the establishment of a multi-agency task force, which could be led by the to undertake an area-based approach to the retrofitting of homes. ‘Such an approach has the potential to support the development of decent, well-paid employment and training opportunities, reduce the strain of energy costs in low-income households, and make progress towards the decarbonisation of Waterford’s built environment.’

Active community members and local stakeholders also continuously highlighted the desire to have the roof of the community hall in Lisduggan repaired.

The report provides examples and case studies of relevant programmes that have taken place elsewhere, such as Leeds City Council’s whole community, area led approach to retrofitting and the Belfast Repair Café.

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