As Chairman of the Board of Local Link Waterford, I want to acknowledge the contribution our organisation makes in meeting the needs of communities in which we serve. We are not just about integrated service provision; we are an organisation that connects people and communities in towns, villages and rural settings in Waterford.
We also perform and have a very important role in the development of the social fabric of our county. We help to combat isolation; we are a driver of economic activity; we deliver people to their workplaces; we support our youth; we connect people with local and civic and amenities and we help visitors to engage with historic sites and to access a myriad of tourism-based initiatives. These are just some of the responsibilities we undertake in Local Link Waterford.
From humble beginnings as a transportation initiative by Waterford City and County Council in 2003, we have grown into an independent company, a registered Irish Charity, and are one of 17 Transport Coordination Units within the Local Link national network funded by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and administered through the National Transport Authority. We provide services that connect towns, villages and communities across our county.
There is also a very human and personal element to what we do. Providing accessible, frequent and integrated transport options take the stress out of everyday life for many people. Free Travel Passes are accepted and door-to- door routes are a feature of the services which offer. Our drivers get to know our passengers and their needs, and this can make a real difference to a person living in an isolated or rural area.
As a registered company with a board of directors, staff, operators and drivers, we recognise that we must operate to the highest standards of governance and compliance and provide transparency and accountability in everything we do, and particularly in the use of public funds. We ensure that we have appropriate and proportionate policies and procedures to help us in that respect.
I am very proud of the role of Local Link Waterford in our community. It is my hope and that of the board that we will continue to grow and develop in the years ahead and that we continue to connect with towns, villages and communities the length and breadth of Waterford.