Category Archives: Meeting notes

My motion to full Council on creating the post of Tree Protection Officer, 10-06-2019

Mine was the dubious landmark of having submitted the first motion of our new Council term. I proposed that Cork County Council would create the post of a Tree Protection Officer. In hindsight, I should have used the term “Tree Officer” instead because the concept would be that the role of such an individual would be not just to optimise the protection of existing valuable trees but also to provide professional advice on when trees become dangerous, pruning/maintenance, planting of appropriate species, disputes about trees on shared boundaries, etc. That’s the kind of remit similar roles in UK local authorities have. It was considered at full Council on Monday and received cross-party support. The Chief Executive has the ultimate say when it comes to staffing. He has suggested that the proposal would go to the Environment Strategic Policy Committee for the practicalities to be fleshed out. So that is what will happen next. The introduction to my motion (at the link below) included an outline of some of the extraordinary and sometimes unconsidered multifaceted benefits of trees. They are essentially an intergenerational piece of infrastructure. We have whole Directorates dedicated to other intergenerational pieces of infrastructure!!!

Introduction to motion: Motion

My motion to full Council on housing for the elderly, 14th January, 2019

“That Cork County Council would carry out an assessment of sheltered housing for the elderly, both public and private, currently available in each town in the county and that, arising from this assessment, Cork County Council would adopt the following policies:

  1. It will be a specific objective of the County Development Plan to provide for sheltered housing for the elderly in every town in the county.
  2. The range of sheltered housing to be provided will allow for both independent and supported living.
  3. The sheltered housing will be provided close to the town centre and/or services and amenities.
  4. The number of sheltered housing units to be provided will be an appropriate proportion of the population of each town.
  5. The Local Area Plan for each Municipal District will identify areas in each town appropriate for the provision of sheltered housing for the elderly.”

The age profile of the Irish population is increasing.  The last Census (2016) saw an increase of over 19% in people aged over 65.  There was also a 15.6% increase in the number of people aged over 85.  This is a huge success story in terms of lifestyle and health but our national and local policies must recognise the implications of this demographic shift and start planning for it now so that we can as a nation embrace rather than fear growing older.

Research carried out by the charity, Alone found that 49% of people aged 60 live alone, more than half in private homes.  Of those, almost 59% live in a house with five rooms or more.

At the same time there are almost 23,000 people in nursing homes.  That is 3.7% of the over 65 population and that percentage continues to increase. In research undertaken in 2017, some of those living in nursing home facilities reported that they moved there because they were alone and could not or did not want to manage their own home any longer.  Despite this, 80% of older adults are negative towards moving into a nursing home (Age Friendly Ireland, 2016).  It is estimated that the cost to the Fair Deal scheme will increase by an additional €729 million annually by 2031 as a result of demographic changes (Alone).

Older people want to age in place but without a choice of appropriate housing, many cannot.  That housing needs to be offered across a spectrum, open to all older people, regardless of whether they qualify for social housing or whether they can avail of private options.  It needs to include both purpose-built homes, dispersed in the community and dedicated sheltered housing in shared and supported schemes.

Community-based supports are critical for all of us but even more important for older people who need to live in close proximity to their family, their social networks, to public transport and other essential public services and to recreation opportunities.  Research indicates that 15% of those aged 65 or over would move to a different home within their community if they had the opportunity to do so. In the UK, this is called right-sizing.

Nobody is better placed to provide for appropriate opportunities for right-sizing to either independent or sheltered living than local authorities.  It takes foresight and planning to ensure that housing for older people is located close to their current homes so that they are not displaced from their communities and social networks.  Our opportunities to do this are at policy level in the County Development Plan and at a practical level in our Municipal Area Plans.

The Joint Housing Strategy requires our Development Plans at either County or Municipal level to include specific policies to secure a housing mix which considers the needs of special groups such as the elderly.  I am glad to hear that this is going to be developed further in the forthcoming review of the County Development Plan.  I would like to see us developing right-sizing policies for our social housing stock.  But what I am urgently seeking support for through this motion is for us as a local authority to ensure that each town has ample provision of a range of houses appropriate for aging.  To actively identify in our Local Area Plans town centre or close to town centre sites that are best placed to develop sheltered housing for the elderly.  I want this process to start now, not in 2024 when the next Local Area Plans are due.  I thank Maurice for his report and for his Department’s efforts.  It is very welcome that houses for older people are being provided through the Capital Assistance Scheme.  But as an example, there are 817 people over 65 in Bandon.  If, as research shows, 15% of these were willing to right-size, that is a requirement for 122 age-appropriate units.  If even half of that requirement were available in the community, the 9 house-scheme currently under construction through the Capital Assistance Scheme is a long way off what is necessary.  And in many cases it does not have to be the local authority or an approved housing body who provides the shortfall but it is necessary that the local authority would provide for them by ensuring appropriate lands in or adjacent to the town centre are identified and available.  If we don’t do this now, we won’t be able to do it.  Those valuable sites will be gone.

Clarke’s Hill upgrade is approved by the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District

Part 8 planning permission has been granted for Cork County Council‘s proposed upgrade of Clarke’s Hill, Rochestown. The Manager’s Report was brought to today’s meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District. Residents had made 22 submissions to the Part 8 consultation. The issues clearly causing most concern are the erection of traffic lights at the Rochestown Road/Clarke’s Hill junction (which works well on a courtesy basis), the excessive use of traffic lights (4 in a little more than 1 km stretch of road), the absence of any cycle lane, the removal of the trees which lend this area its pleasant ambience and the inadequacy of Coach Hill to serve as a relief road for traffic when the upgrade is being constructed.
 
A copy of the Manager’s report is available here:
(Please note that the highlighting is my own done as part of the meeting prep!)
Councillors had many queries and echoed many of the concerns raised by residents at today’s meeting.
 
The engineers say the traffic lights at the Rochestown Road/Clarke’s Hill junction are essential to provide safe egress to houses opposite Clarke’s Hill. They committed to reviewing the traffic light proposals as part of the detailed design phase. They assure that they have put genuine effort into counting every tree which may be affected by the scheme and will replace where at all possible. They continue to advise against the cycle facilities because installing them would mean additional land take. Also they say the NTA advises not to install a cycle lane where the gradient is more than 5%. (Clarke’s Hill has a gradient of 9%.) And they have indicated their intimate understanding of Coach Hill’s being incorporated into the traffic management part of the construction phase.
 
The upgrade is necessary but I am especially unhappy about the absence of cycle facilities. It is proposed to install two 2m wide footpaths as part of the scheme, one on either side of the road. I am of the strong opinion that one of these footpaths should be removed to provide a cycle lane for bikes going up Clarke’s Hill. If traffic on Clarke’s Hill increases as part of the M28 scheme (as is predicted), this would be the least we could do to increase safety for all vulnerable road users.
 
The scheme will now go to full Council for approval.
 

Notes from the April meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young students of Scoil Padraig Naofa, Rochestown, Orla, Sorcha, Clodagh and Sarah, were welcomed by Cllr Desmond.

We took Cllr Forde’s motion now:

“That the Engineer gives a written report on 

  • The status of improvement design for Coach Hill and outline possible funding streams for the project which is urgently needed on safety issues. 
  • In the interim cut back the shrubbery to widen the roadway. 

Improve lighting for pedestrians.”

Cllr Forde:  Is exceptionally proud that these young girls took the time to get a petition together to encourage the Council to take action.  The design office did a preliminary design for Coach Hill.  It needs land take and a set back of a private boundary. I ask councillors to consider that we move to CPO in terms of the long term strategy.  In the short term, the girls are looking for the hedging be cut back to widen the pinch point and put in extra lighting.  It has been suggested that there are too many traffic lights on Clarke’s Hill; perhaps some of the money could be siphoned off to put lights on Coach Hill.  WE will also write to bus Eireann to ask for a bus shelter.  The principal is also very proud of them.

The girls hand over a petition with over 220 signatures.

Cllr D’Alton:  When I was elected, my very first job was to look at widening the pinch point on Coach Hill so a footpath could go in – Safer Routes to Schools initiative.  Area Office was helpful, initiated land search on the fallow land adjacent, found it was CCC and asked the design office to do a preliminary design.  Was started and progressed but always in a half-hearted way because there has never been any funding.  There was for Clarke’s Hill but not for Coach Hill.  We never have a roads meeting pass in here without one of us mentioning Coach Hill.  Especially concerned because M28 planning application showed that should the motorway go ahead, the volume of traffic on Coach Hill will increase significantly. Also concerned because when Clarke’s Hill is being upgraded, there is a risk that traffic will be diverted down Coach Hill.  We will continue to support and to look for funding.

Cllr McGrath:  Coach Hill has many residential estates and two schools in the area yet there is no footpath and safe walking area.  We’ve all tried to address it.  It was brought up even again this week at the Southern Committee meeting. The issue of the land is one thing but if the funding was found there’d be a way around that; the funding hasn’t been secured though.  The area is due to be transferred into the city in 12 months or so and we must be mindful that we don’t take our foot off the pedal.  Well done again for raising the issue.  Has a motion in for this meeting in relation to increasing pedestrian safety around the school.

Cllr Jeffers:  We are always aware that Coach Hill is in need of serious improvement. We can’t take our foot off the pedal in terms of the transfer into the city.  Commended for playing your part in the democratic process.  Fantastic to do so at such a young age.  Played a significant part in democracy in trying to improve your own community.  Cllr Canty was saying that he is now 27 years a councillor so there may be a vacancy arising at some stage in the future.

Cllr Harris:  Congratulates the girl and school and parents and Cllr  Forde for facilitating it.  When you hear personal experiences about walking up the hill and going to school, it focuses the minds.  When you meet people it is much stronger than paper and maps.  You’ve done a great service coming in here today.

Cllr Murphy:  Congratulations.  Supports Cllr Forde’s motion.  We had all dealt with Coach Hill over a period and we have seen how people power worked in Passage West lately.

Cllr Canty:  Coach Hill has been on the map for a long time over the years.  Health and safety is a No. 1 issue.  Fair play to the girls for raising this.  The girls have come in to highlight the dangers. Fair play to Cllr Forde and to the girls for starting he petition.  Don’t lie on it.  Keep knocking on the door.  Lots of things get lost here in paper.  Keep it up and hopefully in time the money will come.

Cllr Desmond:  As Chairperson, I had a very interesting and engaging conversation outside. Effort and energy have gone into this. We have adults who don’t participate in what is going on in their local area and this is huge credit to get 222 signatures.  That road has not changed from my memory of childhood.  There have been some great improvements in Rochestown – this is the last piece of the puzzle.  The Council needs to be credited for the work that has gone up there.  We now have your school.  It has 500 pupils and is ever-increasing.  Very good to see 5thclass students who are about to finish in school caring about the future of those coming up behind them.  It is impossible to cycle on that hill and walking isn’t much better.  We will keep fighting your corner.

 

1.  To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 20thMarch 2018.

Minutes of previous meeting

Confirmed – Cllrs Canty and D’Alton

 

2.  Consideration of recommendations and reports

(i) Report to Members on YourCouncil.ie.

Report on YourCouncil

We will defer this to May.

(ii) Housing Report for Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District April 2018.

Housing report for BCMD

As read.

 

3.  Correspondence

(i) Correspondence TII re N28 – Douglas Exit to R609, Carrigaline Road.

Correspondence from TII re Douglas East

Noted.

(ii) Correspondence Depatment Education and Skills re proposed Educate Together School Rochestown/Douglas.

Correspondence from DoEd re Rochestown Educate Together

Very positive.

(iii) Correspondence from Planning Department re the Bond for the development at Maryborough.

Planning dept. info re Maryborough

Cllr Forde is not in the Chamber.

(iv) Correspondence from Environment Department re litterbins

Info from environment re enforcement

Noted.

(v) Proposals for extra 30 kph zones within the Municipal District.

Special speed limit zones

Area Engineer:  We’ve been given an opportunity to consider extending the 30 kph zones throughout the Municipal District and amend the bye-laws accordingly. Based on representations after the last time we did it and the layout and traffic in the different estates, is proposing these here.  This is limited.  The last time we got 5 estates, there are 6 here.  If there are other estates you feel merit it more, we’ll have to drop some of these.

Cllr McGrath:  Welcomes these.  Knows that €15k was given to the County as a whole for this.  That’s a very small allocation.  Would like to see this introduced in all estates.  We can do it only  on a phased basis.  Traffic calming and the need to reduce speed comes to us all the time.  Mount Oval jumps out on the list because it hasn’t been taken in charge.  Mentions Pinecroft as possibly being included.

AE:  Mount Oval – the through road is taken in charge and there are pockets within the overall development that are taken in charge and more coming up for consideration. It is true to say that there is merit in saying that we should defer it if you have other estates to put forward.

The amount of traffic and the number of people living there means that everything to keep speed down should be done.

Need to investigate the legalities.

Cllr McGrath suggests that we check whether it is amongst the 100 estates that will be taken in charge this year.

AE:  Maybe we leave this as is until the draft bye-laws are drawn up at the end of the year and then more will be clear.

Cllr Jeffers:  This is very welcome.  You can see the merits in the ones chosen – large estates with straight roads, ones with schools.  Supports Pinecroft and mentions Ardfield for inclusion.

Cllr Canty:  Was talking to Don in relation to two or three estates for inclusion in the Ballincollig area.

Cllr D’Alton asked if surveys had been done to show if the special speed limit is working.  The choice of estates is good.  We’d all like more but these estates all need it.

AE:  Surveys that we have done show that the special speed limit is not making a difference. In Shamrock Lawn, we went back in and put in additional physical traffic calming measures.  We hope that the special speed limits will become more common over time and so more noticed.

Cllr Forde asks about Green Valley and Bramble Hill. Could they be included in future list? Understands the budget is limited.  New estates, adjacent to schools and playing pitches if we could target these.

Cllr Desmond:  Also welcomes Maryborough and the others chosen.  Wonders how we communicate this?

AE:  They are subject to the normal public consultation period.  Would go up on the Council website.  Other than this, the estates see the signs go up.  The signs are big and are at the entrance to the estates.

MDO says that he normally asks Members and Corporate Affairs to put bye-laws on social media.  Also asks Tidy Towns groups to put them up on their social media. He uses the contacts in the areas.

Cllr Murphy:  Agrees with Cllr McGrath – we get reports of estates that are not taken in charge.  I put a motion in here two or three years ago to full Council: Jake’s Law.  Is taking a long time to be brought in.

AE:  This is a follow on from the Jake’s Law campaign.  That’s where it started and it is being done on a phased basis.

Cllr Jeffers:  Surveys – could you pass that information on to the gardai?  Ask them to address it?

AE:  Yes. We haven’t done that.  Follows from Jake’s Law originally.  Council committed to doing the 30 kph zones and if there was no perceived reduction that we’d have to consider other traffic calming measures.

Couldn’t see us being able to afford doing traffic calming in every single estate.

MKD:  Asks about response from TII in relation to my motion re noise protection from the N40 on the Douglas village side of the flyover.

MDO:  No, we never had acknowledgement or response.  Will follow this up.

 

4.  General Municipal Allocation/TDF

TDF 2018
Vigour request for funding
Vigour report 2017
Proposed allocation to Harlequins

MDO:

Twinning – doesn’t know if funding will be needed. Depends on the cycles.

Painting scheme – we allocatd €15k last year. Didn’t use it all.  Hoping that we might push it even harder this year.  So is increasing budget to €20k.

Environmental improvements – additional weedspraying, etc. That was for some of the lesser approaches.  We already had funding for the main approaches to towns.

In general, we have supplemented the public funding by €20k every year.  It has always been used fully every year.

The balance demonstrated is because we had to do footpath works.  Then Area Office had to spend money around the airport and didn’t get to use it.  So we’re carrying forward a balance.

Will meet Peter O’Donoghue and the AE in relation to the special spending from parking contributions in Douglas.  This special spend will see €70-80k for Douglas.

Passage West Maritime Museum – CCC has to allocate €20k on top of the €100k obtained through the urban & village renewal funding.  We’re hoping to get most of that from County funds.  That will give a budget of €120k in total.  Much of the background work is done.  This week, work started on clearing out the old stuff inside.  Would like to set aside the reserve budget as set out here in case anything is needed.  We are making sure that everything that is in there is to museum standard.  So if they want to go to Bord Fáilte or another, they’ll be at a good standard.  This will stand to them when they’re looking for funding down the road.   We may not need to use the €20k.  It is in reserve.

Cllr Forde: Welcomes.  Streetscape proposals that could be incorporated.  Don’t just focus on footpaths – shrubberies in tubs, create that village feel.  We have been asking for over the years.

Cllr D’Alton:  Welcomes the spend in Douglas but asks that it would make decent streetscape improvements.  Already asked that these would be addressed in our coming Douglas LUTS meeting.  Asked also for consultation on improvements to streetscape so we wouldn’t have a situation as we did in Passage where there were streetscape improvements many think are a backward step.  Litter on roadside verges between towns is appalling.  Cogan’s Road is an example.  Knows there is a limit to what we can litterpick but would really like to see us spend more on this.  There is an issue with the spend on the entrances to towns.  Last year, the whole width of the roadside verge into Passage West was sprayed so it was brown all summer.  It looked appalling but was equally dreadful for biodiversity. Had we entered the Tidy Towns competition, we would have been slated.  So please can we not do this kind of maintenance again next year.

A discussion about spraying followed – in town centre and elsewhere.

Cllr McGrath:  Would like us to increase money to environmental stuff.  Talks of within villages and towns too.  Speaks particularly of approach to Douglas cemetery. Speaks of rat runs, e.g. roads between Shanbally and Raffeen village.  Would like to see additional money go into those areas.  Is not convinced about increasing the budget to the Painting Scheme. We put a lot of effort into it last time round.  We could revamp – not sure how we might do this.  Carrigaline are hosting the twinning this year.  Is surprised that they haven’t been in touch.

The money to the museum is welcome.  It is a great community project.

We need to look at getting the best bang for buck with this spend.

Agrees with Cllr D’Alton about the litter problem.

Cllr Canty:  Ballincollig twinning are travelling this year.  Wellbeing Festival – was there last year.  It was a very wet day.  Still good crowds turned up.  They’d like to do one more year in Ballincollig to cement it in.  They were unfortunate in the weather.

Cllr Murphy:  Had a good few enquiries about the painting scheme.  Asks about signage for Ardmore.  Does it come under this?  People who took up the funding are people who live in the area.  In a lot of rented properties, people didn’t.  Can we chase these?

Cllr Jeffers:  Welcomes generally.  Reserves for Passage museum very good.  Potential for significant funding for Douglas is welcome.  This is money that will actively make a different.  It is important when spending this money that we get the best for it.  The painting scheme might have to be rejigged.  Would like to see eradication of neon lights, use signage/artwork instead.  Marian Terrace and Grange Cottages on Grange Road needed. Has raised this before. Grange/Donnybrook – when you come into Donnybrook Hill, green side.  Grange Heights landscaping outside.  Signage there would improve.  Douglas Tidy Towns have erected two wooden posts that have now gone bare.  Maybe a bit of character would be given to these central points.

Cllr Harris:  12-17 year olds have very little recreational facilities in Douglas.  We need a skatepark or something for this age group.  There are hundreds of them congregating in different parts of Douglas.  They hang out in the shopping centre.  We have no pool hall, table tennis hall, etc.

Cllr Desmond:  Welcomes report.  Has huge interest in the environment area.  It is a black hole for money.  We need to discuss this more.  Welcomes paint scheme.  Is very conscious of changes in Douglas.  Delighted to see that Douglas is very much on the map because it looks very pitiful.  There is no village feel left at all.  We’re all singing off the same hymn sheet on Douglas.

Cllr Forde also asks for consultation on streetscape improvements.

MDO:  in relation to the environmental improvements: this is additional to the main approaches to towns money.  The environmental improvements here is for the non-main approaches.  We have a balance in the TDF.  If we do allocate this money there is still money left.

Put forward ideas for next month.  It will be much easier if we can all have something to look at in advance.

Cllr McGrath asks about more money for verge maintenance.

The Municipal District grant to Harlequins was approved.

Cllr D’Alton wants to readdress the black hole that environmental improvements have been described as.  The spraying, etc. is done but often people don’t see that it has because growth is so vigorous.  Has asked before that a log be maintained of when spraying, etc. is carried out.  Knows this is difficult but we do need to keep track of what is done where, otherwise it will continue to be a black hole.

AE agrees but says they may be limited with spraying because of the weather.  It is very difficult to deal with efficiently.  There has been no spraying for the past month because temperatures have been cold.

We will think about this, come forward with suggestions and talk about it next month again.

 

5.  Streetscape painting, signage and improvement scheme

Streetscape painting and signage

MDO:  Scheme is very much the same as we have had.  The slight differences in that where a person undertakes the works themselves, they can get 100% of the cost of materials.  We gave only a portion last year.  The closing date is Fri 1 June.  Areas in which the scheme will operate this year are Passage West, Douglas and Ringaskiddy.  In Passage West, experience last year was that identifying ownership of the property was an issue.  Also many buildings are three storey and it creates a lot of extra work compared to the normal 2 storey.  We are proposing that if residents get together where there are three storey buildings, we will be flexible with the amount of funding that we will grant.  We will talk to applicants about these.  At the end of the scheme last year, people made contact and it was too late.  Or they made contact and the weather changed.

Cllr McGrath:  Is 100% funding of materials appropriate?  Thinks 75 or 80% is enough.

MDO:  This has become the norm in other MDs.

Cllr D’Alton:  The greatest complaint I received last year was about the choice of colours on the application form.  Many people didn’t like them.  Thought they were dull.

MDO:  We are very open to colour suggestions; we will not be sticking with what is on the form.

 

6.  Village enhancement scheme

MDO:  Propose to use the Village Enhancement Scheme in Ringaskiddy this year, specifically Gobby Beach.  The Architects have been meetings with local residents.  The MDO will send on the plans when he gets them.

Cllr D’Alton:  Fantastic because Gobby is the only point at which the harbour can be accessed from Ringaskiddy.  Very well used and the car park has been looking very tired.

Cllrs McGrath and Jeffers welcomed this also.

 

7.  Town approaches 2018

Approaches to towns

Cllr D’Alton:  Cllr McGrath has been asking for a barrier at a spot at the top of Church Hill to protect cars from falling into the ditch.  Very beautiful view from this point.  Would it be possible to tarmac the area in addition to providing the barrier so that enjoying the view could be formalised?  It is an approach to Passage West town.

AE: The road is very narrow at this point and the ground is private.  Do not think this would be possible.

 

8.  Notices of Motion

To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:

Cllr. D Forde

  1. “That the Engineer gives a report on what actions can and should be taken on Church Street to deter illegal parking on the footpath which is a danger to pedestrians.” 

Response to Forde’s motion re Church St.

 

  1. “That the Engineer gives a written report on 
  • The status of improvement design for Coach Hill and outline possible funding streams for the project which is urgently needed on safety issues. 
  • In the interim cut back the shrubbery to widen the roadway. 
  • Improve lighting for pedestrians.”

Response to Forde’s motion re Coach Hilll

AE says she has driven the road twice and knows that there is little growth at this time of year. Knows there is a pinch point but there is no impinging shrubbery at the moment.  Will cut if it grows but it isn’t there now.  Also they are happy to add to public lighting in areas where there are safety concerns, they are not keen to augment lights where there isn’t a footpath.

Cllr Forde: there is a planning going through for the Educate Together which will be increasing footfall.  Hears what the AE is saying.  We have to put it on more than the long finger.  Tom Stritch says he’ll have a look at it.

AE says she will liaise with him.

 

  1. “That the Engineer gives a written report on action to be taken  to increase the safety of residents/vehicles exiting and turning right at Douglas Lawn adjacent to Bow Wow Bridge.” 

Cllr Forde: Was promised bollards under the Bow Wow bridge about 15 years ago.  Families are moved into Douglas Lawn now.  Even going to Mass they need somewhere safe to walk.

AE:  There are motorists of speed everywhere but that particular stretch of road has all the relevant traffic calming features: a bend – a short stretch of road – narrowing.  It is difficult to assess what nature of speed is there.  We are going to sit down with Peter to look at Douglas.  Will see what could possibly be done.  Have asked the property section to approach the property between the BW bridge and the entrance to the estate that is blocking footpath connectivity and not helping visibility.  Yellow box isn’t a speed reduction measure.  There are 25 houses in Douglas Lawn.  Has no problem with a yellow box if traffic can’t get out but if traffic is flying by, a yellow box isn’t going to help you get out.

 

Cllr. M Murphy

  1. “That the Engineer considers the inclusion of Ardmore Estate as part of the works programme for 2018.” 

Cllr Murphy: In the top terrace in particular the roads are bad.

AE:  Wasn’t 100% sure what the notice of motion was about but knows that the top terrace is one of the worst left.  The footpaths are old as well.  It’s too big to do it all in one go but we might be able to tackle the top terrace road surface.

Cllr McGrath says he supports this as a former resident of the estate.

 

  1. “That the Engineer considers installing Traffic Calming measures, possibly signage, on the road from Maulbaun to the Old Graveyard.”

Cllr Murphy: A dog was killed there by a refuse truck.  A resident there says people are speeding.

 

Cllr. M D’Alton

  1. “That this Municipal District Committee would submit an observation to An Bord Pleanála in support of Aldi’s planning application for the former Eurospar supermarket, Passage West on the grounds that: 

– The proposed delivery of the Aldi service into an existing supermarket building is very badly needed in Passage West. 

– Passage West is a satellite town with notably poor retail offerings for its resident population.

– The grounds on which the appeal has been taken have been proven to be not relevant as Eurospar formerly operated out of this building for many years. 

– The provision of supermarket-sized convenience retail within Passage West would alleviate the need for residents to travel to meet their shopping needs and would consequently reduce traffic congestion to and in the adjacent settlements of Douglas and Carrigaline.” 

This is no longer necessary. Cllr D’Alton welcomed the fact that the Aldi development is going ahead.

 

  1. “That Cork County Council would install a pelican crossing at the current uncontrolled crossing location outside St. Peter’s Community School, Passage West.”

Cllr D’Alton:  There is an uncontrolled crossing there at present. Cars queue in the mornings going to both the primary and secondary schools.  They also park along the road.  People and children in particular are crossing between the cars.  A pelican crossing could be used when the school is busy at start and finishing times but allow traffic to flow unhindered for the rest of the day.

Cllr McGrath said he has spoken to the AE about this in the past and supports the request.

AE:  Went up there during the week to look.  Cars stop on the yellow hatching.  For that reason there would be merit in putting in the controlled crossing.  The morning I was up there, there were cars everywhere.  But if a controlled crossing is to be installed, there must be 3 car lengths either side where parking would be prohibited.  The entrance to Barr an Bhaile would be within that zone.  For the crossing to work, you can’t have cars parking beside it.  So parking will be reduced and it is obviously at a premium.  Therefore thinks it will cause a problem.  Would prefer to see one of the school wardens used there.

Cllr D’Alton:  There are two traffic wardens at the primary school. Both are necessary because there are two crossings.  But we have also had resources issues with providing additional traffic wardens.

Cllr McGrath said that he has been pushing wardens for a long time and has been advised that infrastructure was the way to go because the resources weren’t there for traffic wardens.

 

Cllr. E Jeffers & Cllr. M Murphy

  1. “That this Municipal District would request the Tourism Section of Cork County Council to develop a tourism strategy for Carrigaline and surrounding areas of the Lower Harbour. This strategy should have a specific aim of attracting tourists who arrive via the port in Ringaskiddy, to these areas as key destinations.” 

Cllr Jeffers: This is a gateway in Cork County on the southern side of the city.  So much can be done in these towns.  The GAA clubs are doing GAA tours on north side of the city.

Cllr Jeffers said much more in praise of the potential of Carrigaline and the harbour towns.

Cllr Murphy spoke of the Passage West Museum which is soon to open, the potential of using the river and the promise of connecting Passage West/Monkstown with the boat that serves Spike Island

Cllr McGrath also supports; says this area should receive more attention from the tourism section.  It has a cluster of attractions – greenways – museum – ferry.  Facilities need to be provided such as camping.  This requires investment.

Cllr D’Alton referred to the motion she has had on the agendas of the last few full Council meetings. Proposes that the military fortifications of the Lower Harbour and Spike Island would, with the fortifications right up to Ballincollig, be designated a World Heritage Site.  What we have in the Lower Harbour is very valuable.  Supports the motion.

Cllr Desmond voiced her support too.

 

Cllr. S McGrath

  1. “To ask the Engineer to examine pedestrian safety in the vicinity of Scoil Phadraig Naofa, Rochestown.” 

Cllr McGrath reads a section of an email he received.  There are 501 pupils in Scoil Phadraig Naofa.

Cllr Desmond says she has already spoken to the AE about this.

The AE said she has been discussions with the BoM and parents in the last number of years.  The official line in relation to development of this nature is that the planning application will include a road safety audit.  When construction is complete, a closing road safety audit is done.  It is supposed to tackle exactly these types of issues.  In this case, the closing road safety audit was done last September. The Area Office has asked for the report but hasn’t received it.  Planning hasn’t received it either.  It would be wrong to step in and do other works before the recommendations of the audit are known.  Confirms Cllr Desmond has been in touch about this.

 

  1. “To seek an update on the upgrade of the Ballinrea/Cork Road roundabout and the infrastructural improvements associated with the development of the Education Campus.” 

Cllr McGrath:  We are aware that the special contribution has been paid over.  It is approximately €800,ooo.  Where are we at now?  Is the design work underway?  Hopes the uncontrolled crossing near the roundabout will be upgraded.  Cost of the works?

AE:  You have raised so many issues that we might go away and do a report.  This is being handled by the Design Office.  Can’t give specific answers.  Tried to get something for today’s meeting but the relevant people weren’t available. Can say that the contributions are not enough.  Council own funds will need to supplement the works.

Cllr Jeffers speaks in support as well.

 

  1. “To seek an update from the Engineer on the acquisition of the mobile speed feedback signs for this MD.” 

Cllr McGrath:  A policy was approved for this.  Wonders about the community involvement element of this policy. Wonders whether it has been used in our MD.

Cllr D’Alton:  Confirms that the policy requires community involvement and regular moving of the signs.  Spoke to the Area Office about this in the past couple of weeks.  Hoped to obtain signs for use at Coolmore Cross and that they could be moved between here, Shanbally and the entrance to Ringaskiddy.  Very difficult to use the policy in a community such as, for example, Monkstown where there is nowhere to move them.  But with the Coolmore/Ringaskiddy area, it is possible.

AE:  What was suggested that different communities could contribute a certain amount towards those signs being available for their particular community.  It is my intention to put up some of the signs where they might be effective. Very slow to use them liberally. Intends to move them.  Agrees that it would be difficult under the policy to use them in some places.  What was originally intended was that the Tidy Towns or similar community group would come up with a percentage of the cost to purchase and the Council would buy and it would be for distribution throughout the contributing communities.  The pole for the sign sits into a socket in the ground. They are movable as opposed to mobile.

A debate about community involvement followed.

AE thinks Coolmore isn’t the best place for these because they would be too close to the existing sign on Church Road.  Cllr McGrath supports the suggestion that they would be used at Coolmore Cross.  The 50 kph zone here is not respected.  Says he brought this in a motion a couple of years ago and he got the same answer then as I have now!

 

Cllr. Jeffers

  1. “To request a report from the Engineer on possible works that could be undertaken to reduce speed on Donnybrook Hill, specifically by the entrances to Calderwood and Bromley, with the purpose of making these estates safer to exit.” 

Cllr Forde supports.  The lights and pedestrian crossing are wonderful.  TII and the Council have to be complimented.

AE:  The proposed ramp at Calderwood is the answer.  That won’t be done for another couple of years as part of the traffic calming/pedestrian enhancement.  Cllr Desmond has brought this up also.  Is considering looking at the driver feedback signs for the traffic coming up from the Maxol.  Thinks there is to be another ramp at Maxol as well.

 

  1. “That an update be given on a previous motion to install a pedestrian crossing on the Grange Road, in the general area of Clifton and Supervalu.”

Cllr Jeffers:  This is a dangerous spot with huge volume of pedestrians.  Could works be done in conjunction or something of that nature to give the pedestrian crossing and eliminate speeding?

Cllr McGrath says he has discussed this with the AE before; many residents contact us on that.   Asks that the AE would also remember the yellow box at Clifton.

AE:  Don’t have an issue with a pedestrian crossing but doesn’t want to get it in the wrong place.  Has spoke to Peter O’Donoghue.  He has funding for looking at the Grange Road in its entirety.  They will be asking consultants this year to do a design wrt pedestrian enhancements including bus stops, crossings, etc.  If the crossing is in the same spot as is recommended by the consultants, we can isolate it and go ahead with it.  Doesn’t want to go ahead without that recommendation.

 

  1. Votes of congratulations

 

  1. AOB

Cllr Forde says speeding in Green Valley is a concern.  Also asks about spray paint in Pinecroft.

Cllr Forde: Asks the AE to check an email re Ravensdale.

Cllr D’Alton says that she has received a complaint that the recent tree cutting carried out at the entrance to Passage West was done in April in the nesting season.  A bird’s egg was found smashed on the footpath during the cutting.  Knows the weather has been poor and the cutting was requested.  But the person who complained has suggested that if it is necessary to cut in the nesting season, it would be done in the last two weeks of August rather than at the beginning of the nesting season.

Cllr D’Alton read out a message she had received in relation to gravel on the R610 left behind after the Irish Water works.  AE says she will investigate and address.

Cllr McGrath asks about the crossing on the Kilmoney Road.  Cars are upon it before they know it is there.  Wonders if signage could be put in.

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District Grant Allocations 2018

The Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District has distributed over €225,000 through the Municipal District Grant to community, voluntary and sporting groups and to residents associations throughout the Municipal District.

Since this grant scheme was set up three years ago, over €830,000 has been allocated through the scheme to assist local groups.  The funding has proved invaluable to a wide variety of organisations and the Council continues to receive very positive feedback about what the grant scheme helps them to achieve.

2018 allocations are at the following link:
Municipal Grant allocations

MY MOTION TO FULL COUNCIL ON A PAINT REUSE SCHEME, 14/03/2018

That Cork County Council would initiate a paint reuse scheme in each of its 11 Civic Amenity Sites.  The aim of the scheme would be to offer good quality reusable paint to community groups, charities and others while reducing the volume and cost of waste for disposal.

 

 

We don’t know precisely how much paint goes to waste in Ireland each year. 

 

What we do know is that research in the UK has found that the average household has 17 part used paint tins stored in cupboards, garden sheds and garages. 

 

We know that one litre of improperly disposed paint has the ability to pollute up to 250,000 litres of water.

 

And we also know that although many paints are now water-based, all paints are regarded as hazardous and sent for treatment by the same process.  This is the case even though most paints collected at civic amenity sites are not hazardous at all.

 

The most recent published statistics from the EPA tell us that in 2014, 9.5 million litres of paints, varnish, ink and adhesive were treated as hazardous waste.  (They don’t tell us how much of this is paint only.)  Half of this 9.5 million litres was treated at home, half was exported.

 

In 2016, 43,000 litres of paint was presented at civic amenity sites around the country.  Only engine oils and pesticides were presented in greater volumes.  Management of paint is a burden to local authorities.  Management of any waste defined as hazardous is costly and there are specific guidelines for its storage and  handling.

 

In general, 50% of waste paint that is stored or thrown away is still usable.  To minimise the environmental burden, the financial burden and to prevent waste, many countries have initiated paint reuse schemes or community paint recycling programmes.  These include Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Rediscover Paint project in Ballymun.  One of the most extensive paint reuse schemes is closest to us in the UK, where a nationwide paint reuse network called Community RePaint collects leftover paint at civic amenity sites and other participating hardware stores and redistributes it to benefit individuals, families, communities and charities in need at an affordable cost.  Community Repaint began with two schemes in 1993.  15 years later, Dulux came on board as a sponsor.  And in 2014, 22 years after the initiative started, the scheme’s first remanufacturing centre opened, blending and rebranding paint that was once regarded as waste to be sent for incineration.  Community RePaint has a network made up of over 74 schemes.  It redistributes over 300,000 litres of paint each year with the help of 154 employees, 14 trainees and 146 volunteers.

 

We in County Cork collect waste paint at all of our civic amenity sites.  At present, even though most of it is not hazardous, it is all regarded as hazardous and most is sent for incineration.  We cannot aspire to a scheme as extensive as Community RePaint in the immediate future but what we can do is to formalise a paint reuse scheme at each of our civic amenity sites.  I can think of nothing that stands in the way of our initiating this.  Segregate hazardous from non-hazardous paint.  Ensure each tin to be redistributed is clean with a reasonably well sealed lid.  Repackage if it is not.  Make it available to schools, charities and community groups.  Even to the public if they would like it.  Whether there is a small fee or not, all paint that is reused minimises that which is wasted.  This in itself saves money.  Reuse schemes like this are supported by the Southern Waste Management Region Office and are a stated aim of the National Waste Prevention Committee.  This is a very small, very simple initiative but is a huge statement of intent that could in time grow into a sustainable industry.

My letter to the Minister re. the boundary extension at Hop Island, December 2017

Before we started a briefing of Cork County Council to discuss the proposed new City boundary on Monday, 4th Dec, we were distributed with a map:

 

 

 

 

 

That same evening, Cork City Council also sat in their Chamber in City Hall.  They too had a map distributed to them.  You can see the scale of the difference at Hop Island/Passage West and Upper Monkstown:

 

 

 

 

I emailed our Chief Executive asking how on earth it was possible that two different maps were being discussed by the two different authorities on the same evening on foot of a joint negotiation.  He responded, advising that the map distributed to the City Council had not been authorised but that the map we had distributed to us did not show the results of a final element of the negotiations preceding the Council briefings.  The County wanted the boundary to run to the Chetwynd Viaduct at the N71 rather than further out at the brow of the hill.  The City didn’t agree.  But the City’s Lord Mayor wanted Hop Island.  At the last minute, the City negotiating team ceded the ground at Chetwynd, saying the boundary could be at the Viaduct if the County would give Hop Island.  The County’s Chief Executive said fine: the boundary could be set at the MacKinnon suggested line at Hop Island, i.e. almost down to the development boundary of Passage West.

The implication locally for us is that in developing our town, we will be trying to plan and maintain one of our greatest marketing tools – the Greenway – through a different local authority.  I know from working in Douglas how difficult this can be.  So after having spent a day on the phone to some of my fellow councillors, I wrote the following letter, asking for the Minister to please consider the future of Passage West, cc’ing it to those listed and including a personal covering letter:
Letter to Minister, 07-12-2017_3

I got no acknowledgement from anyone, either the Minister or any of those cc’ed.  On Monday 11th Dec, the final map to be recommended to the Minister was circulated to all County councillors at our statutory meeting:

 

 

 

 

 

The Chief Executive, the Deputy Chief and the Mayor were all away on business.  Many of us spoke at that meeting, including myself.  Our efforts were always going to be wasted emotion.  The new boundary as indicated in final map was recommended to the Minister and was approved by cabinet yesterday morning.

Notes from the July meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District

Notes from the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District meeting, 17-07-2017

1.  Election of Cathaoirleach

Cllr Mary Rose Desmond was unanimously elected as Chair.

Cllr John Collins was unanimously elected as Vice-Chair.

Tributes were extended to Cllr Canty for his year as Chair.

 

2.  Confirmation of Minutes
To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 19thJune 2017

‘Minutes 19.06.17 draft.pdf’

Proposed Cllr D’Alton.  Seconded Cllr McGrath.

Matters arising:
Cllr McGrath asked for an update on the Raffeen bollards.  Are we going to put a barrier there to replace the bollards?

AE:  They were put in as a short-term measure after a truck went off the road there a few years ago.  They were never taken away and the damage has not been repaired.  They do intend to do so.

Cllr McGrath:  Thanks for getting hedge cut at Carrig na Curra junction.  It is cut from the Shannonpark side but not from the Carrigaline side.  Also has noticed that the junctions generally have been cut and thanks for that.

Cllr D’Alton:  Bollards were put against a collapsed wall in Passage West to perform a similar function.  In this case, the wall is private.  It has since been fixed and the bollards are lying on the other side of the road.  The Council might like to collect them.

Cllr D’Alton asks whether Dock Terrace has yet been added to the Derelict Sites List.

Acting MDO (Margaret):  Doyles have been written to but there is no response yet from them.  It is normal procedure to write to the owner before putting something on the Derelict Sites list.

Cllr D’Alton asks how long one would normally wait to get a response.  Margaret will check this out and revert.

Cllr Muprhy said it has been reported to him that there is dumping over the back walls of those houses.  Margaret said this might be an environmental health issue.  She said she will follow it up and report back.

Cllr Collins:  The Area Office is doing a lot of work on cutting back hedges generally.  This highlights the fact that landowners are not doing their bit to keep their hedges cut back.  Are we following up on this?

AE:  We are not in a position to follow up on everything but we do try when we can to let landowners know of their responsibilities.

 

3.  Consideration of Reports and Recommendations

(i) Derelict Sites Report – Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District

‘Derelict Sites Report.pdf’

Cllr D’Alton asked what property was taken off the list and what works were done to have it taken off.  Margaret said she would check up and revert back.

 

(ii) Schedule of Municipal Works – Expenditure Report as at 30th June 2017

‘Expenditure Report as at 30th June 2017.pdf’
‘Expenditure note for Members July 2017.pdf’

Cllr D’Alton said that she would ask about graveyards later because it is being brought up as a motion.  She asked if the AE had checked up on the additional budget allocated to Coastal Protection in this Municipal District.  Had asked that we would devise a programme of slip cleaning.  The sailing courses are on now, so the slips are at their maximum usage but we have spent very little of the Coastal Protection budget to date.

AE:  One of the engineers in Carrigaline has been dealing with slip management.  Some works have been done in relation to cleaning.  Doesn’t know where we are at today.  There was some funding relating to repair works on the Monkstown slip that Cllr D’Alton had highlighted.  Clarifies that this budget is going primarily on the maintenance of slips.

Cllr McGrath:  At a recent CPG meeting, a number of Members were commenting on the reduction in staff numbers and the loss of the Gateway scheme.  It is being felt across the county in relation to getting simple tasks done.  Issues like presentation of our open spaces, etc. are an issue.  Have already discussed with AE how things are taking longer to get done through the Area Office.  Fully understands that it is down to resources.  Unless we raise the issue it is not going to change.  Is asking that we as a Municipal District would raise the issue with the CE directly.  I pursued this when I was mayor – a lack of priority given to outdoor activities.  The Area Offices are stretched beyond belief.  The resources aren’t there to deal with the issues we bring to them.  There will be a budget passed in November.  Is asking that we raise this as a Municipal District.  What we ask the Area Office to do are simple tasks but they all add up.

Cllr Forde:  A few years ago there was just the AE and the outdoor workers.  Now there are many more engineers but the Area Office is under resourced in some critical areas.  We’re not whinging but thinks we need to put down a motion to Council before the allocation of capital monies.  The Area Offices are the most important level of Council.  If the people are satisfied with what we’re doing on the ground, our job is half done.  The Area Office is the most critical foundation stone of local democracy.

Cllr Canty:  This has been an old chestnut over the years.  Our men on the van will leave the yard and go bin collecting, clearing bags, etc.  We don’t have people for other jobs then.  There were three staff erecting lovely railings last week so their other jobs went on hold.  We have to get outside contractors to do everything because our outdoor staff aren’t available to do it.  Two or three extra people per office would do an awful lot.  We need the visibility of people seeing us out there.  People say what are we paying property tax for.

Cllr Jeffers:  Supports too.  SF has been calling for extra staff to be employed for a long time.  Our belief is that staffing levels are at crisis point.  I have a motion in at full Council about this.  Thinks its not financing is the problem any more, it’s lack of staff.  The average age of our grouping of outdoor staff at Municipal District level is 54.  This is a dangerous age for outdoor working.

Cllr D’Alton:  Agrees also.  Is always amazed by the volume of work the Area Office gets through with the limited resources it has.  There has been a particular amount of work done lately.  But knows there are major pressures.  We at Tidy Towns know we are doing more and more of the jobs the Area Office should really be doing.  We’re happy to do it to see it done but during last week, the water tower was so full of bags from our clearance that we couldn’t get our tools back in.  The Area Office dealt with the emergency when I contacted them, but no doubt but that more workers would help.

Cllr Desmond:  What is done is a testament to the Area Office but there are demands there.  It is timely that Cllr McGrath has brought this up.  We have to agree how and where we bring it on from here.

AE:  Would welcome an increase in staff in the morning and it would enable us to get through a lot more work.  But wouldn’t like people to get unrealistic expectations either.  Appreciates fully that there is a level of frustration out there.  Requests come in and it takes a long time for us to get back.  We have 10 public reps, 2 Dail constituencies, a public that bypass public reps.  The time involved in getting out to examine an incident and get a report done on top of the day job of organising contracts, etc. is huge.  There is a huge volume of work and if there were more resources on the ground it would be better.  But resources have to be paid for and it is above my pay grade to decide how that should be done.  If the resources are available and we don’t have the budget to carry out the works, that’s no good either.  These are not my decisions.  There are a lot of works going on in the area that the Members would have no involvement in but that take huge administrative resources also.  We are constantly under pressure and would be delighted to have extra staff resources in the morning.  We all want to get the work done.

Cllr McGrath:  We’re under pressure ourselves today – appreciates the support from the Members.  Area Offices generally are under-resourced.  Have been saying this for some time.  They are the ones that give the perception of how the Council is providing services.  Suggests we send a letter to the CE now.  Is happy to forward it as a motion.  We need to be careful of the wording.

Agreed Cllr McGrath would draft the motion, send it to Sarah and Sarah would circulate to the Members.  Will be on the full Council agenda for September.

Cllr Forde suggests that if this isn’t successful, we should look at the proposal that there should be a spreadsheet of all the motions put down to date, of the actions taken and when the actions on those are taken.  It is hard to keep track of motions and they fall off.

 

4.  Correspondence

(i) Correspondence from TII – Ringaskiddy Playground Pedestrian Crossing N28.

‘Correspondence from TII – pedestrian crossing Ringaskiddy.pdf’

Cllr D’Alton said she raised this initially and doesn’t want to incur pointless letter-writing on behalf of the MDO but this response isn’t good enough.  Doesn’t know what more she can do.  She’s even done a traffic and pedestrian count.  Has demonstrated that they meet TII’s own criteria for a pedestrian crossing.  Invites the members to make suggestions as to what to do next.

We agreed to write to the CRDO and ask that they would come to a meeting.

 

(ii) Correspondence from Irish Water – Water Outages, Carrigaline

‘Email from Irish Water – Outages Carrigaline.pdf’

Cllr MCGrath:  Doesn’t want to play ping pong with letters either but wonders if through the MD we could escalate this past the public reps desk in Irish Water to a manager of some sort?  Very frustrating and will continue.

Cllr Jeffers:  Knows Cllr McGrath has been really pushing this.  Commends him for that.  Supports.  The Irish Water response is not good enough.  The water main has broken 4 – 5 times in the space of one month.

Cllr Desmond:  Supports too.  We’re not responsible for the response we got but acknowledges that this response this is not good enough.

Agreed that we would write to the Chief Executive of Irish Water.

 

(iii) Correspondence from Denis Naughten, T.D., Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment – Election Posters

‘Email from Minister Denis Naughten – Election Posters.pdf’

Cllr D’Alton:  I pushed this on foot of a motion from Cllr O’Donnabhain.  Would love to see a ban on election posters across the county but thinks that the letter written back by the Minister is a good one.  He put effort in.  He refers to a survey done in 2008.  Looked it up.  This was done by John Gormley when he was minister.  It asked local authority members if they would agree to limit the number of posters per candidate.  The responses he got were so strong that unless I get support from the members to take this further, I am going no further with it.

There was no support offered!

 

5.  Disposal of Property

To consider the disposal of freehold interest at 3 Congress Place, Monkstown, Co. Cork to property owner Leona Beale for the consideration of €350.00 inclusive of administration charges.

‘Disposal map.pdf’

As read.

 

6.  GMA/TDF

‘TDF July 2017.pdf’
‘Festival Report.pdf’

The MD had circulated an update about the TDF, specifically in relation to the proposed Music in Community festival in Ballincollig.

Cllr D’Alton:  We supported the Music in Community festival before.  Was concerned then that we were giving it a lot of money and we said we would review before we gave again.  Now we have been asked to support the Wellbeing festival in the Regional Park too.  Is concerned that we would be giving significant support to two festivals in Ballincollig and nothing similar elsewhere.

Cllr Canty:  The Music in Community group are after falling short this year.  It costs about €20k to put on the festival.  We said we’d give €3k towards it at one stage.  They have spoken to the MDO, etc. and because they are short of money, they are instead proposing gigs in small venues around the town.  That’s not what we said we’d support.  The MDO is talking about transferring the money to the Wellbeing festival.  The Wellbeing festival has said that it will move around after it happens in Ballincollig.  They too are looking for funding.

Cllr Forde:  The Laya outdoor events are hugely well attended.  Even if the weather isn’t good, people will go.  Thinks we should support the wellbeing festival.

Cllr McGrath:  Agrees that we should give some money to the wellbeing festival.

Cllr Desmond agrees that the Laya days are brilliant.  Good that they are coming to us first.  All agreed unanimously that we would move the €3k to the fitness and wellbeing festival.

 

7.  Notices of Motion

To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:

Cllr. D O’Donnabhain

  1. “That this Municipal District requires Cork County Council, together with any other statutory bodies necessary to engage with one another and to do all necessary to ensure that the Poulavone Roundabout is resurfaced forthwith.”
  2. “That this Municipal District requires an immediate cancellation of the contract entered into with the line painting contractor for the Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District. Further, that the Municipal District not retain this contractor into the future.”

Cllr O Donnabhain is not present.

 

Cllr. D Forde

  1. “That the Engineer reports on when a footpath can be installed on Rochestown Road between Rochestown Rise and Maryborough estate.”

Cllr Forde: A great job was done in putting in the footpath from Maryborough to the Fingerpost.  Would personally have liked the money to have been spent on footpaths in estates.  Now other residents on the Rochestown Road are looking for an infill footpath connecting Rochestown Rise to Maryborough Estate.

AE:  It was you put the footpath on the Rochestown Road with the excess from the GMA!  My budget for footpaths will do only those in estates.  I doubt that I would have the budget to do this.  We get a footpath budget and couldn’t have done the Rochestown Road work out of that budget.  We could do it only because money came from the TDF.  Should the same happen again, I’m not sure that I would prioritise that area or that the type of money that would be involved would become available.  It is a longer stretch, is linking up house entrances, there would be a possible need for land transfer.  It is a big project and this iis possibly why it was not done to date.  There is a footpath on the other side of the road; there are crossing points.  There are alternatives and pedestrians are not at risk.  I have to allocate the year by year footpath money to estates where footpaths are falling apart.  If relevant development charges become available, this stretch of footpath will be considered.  Works done on the Rochestown road to date have come from the specific improvement grant.  This grant stream no longer available.

Cllr Forde:  Is there a commitment to have a footpath everywhere within a 30 kph zone?

AE:  I’m not aware of it.  It is a 50 kph zone.  But it is served by footpaths; facilities are provided for pedestrians.

Cllr Forde:  There are only 7 houses there and facilities across the road where the footpath on the Rochestown Road was replaced.  So one can’t use that argument either!

AE:  The inside of that footpath is an old stone wall.  Vehicular traffic could drive up on the existing footpath because it had sunk to level with the road.  There was nothing protecting traffic if a car went up on it from crashing into the wall.  So this was a much higher priority from a safety point of view.

 

Cllr. S McGrath

  1. “That the Council consider measures to deter HGV’s using the Grotto road (between Coolmore & Village) in Shanbally.”

Cllr McGrath:  There are a large number of companies towards the Currabinny direction and some of the heavy vehicles use this road.  This road gets a huge volume of traffic anyway.  Would signage help?   There are residential houses along the road and no footpath between Coolmore Cross and the grotto.

AE:  There are already signs on the regional road between Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy telling people not to use the road.  These should prevent them from turning up at Coolmore.  We could investigate putting signs on the road.  Imagines the bulk of HGVs using the road are oil lorries, refuse trucks, etc. who will have to use the road anyway.  Existing signage isn’t having an impact.

It was agreed that they would put a sign up at Shanbally itself.  AE cautions that a lot of HGVs would have to travel the road for local servicing anyway.

 

  1. “To request that the Engineer consider providing a footpath on the northern part of Fairy Hill, Monkstown.”

Cllr McGrath:  Thinks Cllr D’Alton must have been in contact with the same person!  The footpath goes as far as the school.  It doesn’t go up to Carrigmahon where the estate is.  Diamond Hill doesn’t have a footpath either. We have commented before on connectivity.  Is flagging it in terms of the footpath programme although accepts it is probably too late to be done this year.

Cllr D’Alton:  This stretch of road is connecting to the school and that is the problem.  There are deep drains on one side, overgrowth on the other, an almost 90 degree bend and when a car or a jeep is going down the road and they meet a child walking up against them on the road, it is lethal.  There have been several planning applications for ground behind the Carrigmahon estate and perhaps planning contributions from this could be used.  The Area Office tends to try to build 1.5m footpaths but even if this were a narrower footpath it would improve safety. Appreciates it wouldn’t be an easy one with the drains and the gradient.

AE:  The sufficient road width isn’t there to put in a proper footpath.  We did work on the drainage issues last year.  If we were to have the money in the morning, would rather spend the money in areas where the footpaths that we have are deteriorating and disintegrating.  A footpath on that side will mean getting rid of the existing roadside drainage.  You would have to put in a storm sewerage system to replace it.  You would have to do accommodation works along all the houses.  Even if sufficient width was there, can’t see development contributions paying for it.  It would be too expensive.  Doesn’t think we can do it.

Cllr McGrath:  How we do we provide footpaths were there isn’t a footpath.  Our footpath money is necessary to repair what we’ve got.

Cllr D’Alton:  Does our footpath repair budget come from the revenue budget or the capital budget?  Could we not make an argument that if they come from the revenue budget, we should be given an annual allocation from the capital budget for new stretches of footpath?

AE:  Can see only a few ways to provide a footpath like this.  1) The specific improvement grant but this is now gone.  The Restoration Grant that is there now is very specific as to what it can be used for.  2) As you have suggested, the capital budget could pay for it.  3) Have found recently that Community Involvement Schemes can include footpath works.  Would the residents there be willing to contribute financially to a footpath?  We do get a Discretionary Maintenance Grant and we can do what we want with this.  But the ordinary maintenance requirements from January to December are so huge that whilst I do supplement the footpath budget from it sometimes, I daren’t use too much.

Cllr Desmond:  This is very frustrating when you see the level of property tax that is coming from this MD.  Couldn’t possibly ask residents to contribute to the cost of installing a footpath.  They would be justified in asking where their property tax is going.

We agreed to forward a motion from the MD to full Council asking for money to be put aside in the Capital Budget for new footpaths.

Cllr D’Alton:  Could the AE let us know in numbers of zeros how much it might cost to put in a footpath in a location like Fairy Hill.  Many of the locations we’ve been asking for new footpaths involve complications like accommodation works and land purchase.  So whilst €250,000 might look great in a headline, it will hardly deliver one stretch of path.  We need to have a feel for what might be a realistic amount to look for from the Capital Budget.

The AE said she will come back to us to let us know what would be a reasonable allocation.

 

  1. “To request that the Council make the footpaths disabled friendly by St. Luke’s school in Douglas.”

AE:  There is only one entrance that is not dished.  We will sort that.  The footpath is actually too narrow for a wheelchair but we can’t make it wider with the footpath that is there.

 

Cllr. M Murphy

  1. “That this Municipal District writes to the HSE to ask if the Passage West Health Centre is being relocated to Carrigaline and could we get a response as soon as possible.”

Cllr Murphy:  I contacted a member of the HSE.  Lady said someone else would contact me.  But I didn’t get a call.

Cllr D’Alton:  Can clarify without offering an opinion.  The current public health centre building is no longer fit for purpose.  The HSE intends to move most of the functions of the current public health centre to the new primary care centre in Carrigaline.  But they are aware of the need to maintain a basic element of the current service in Passage West and so they are actively seeking alternative premises from which to operate out of.  Have spoken to them about this on two occasions and have had written correspondence with them also.

Cllr McGrath:  The social welfare office has been moved out of Passage too.  Believed the post office was in trouble but have spoken to the proprietor and believes it is now fine.  But it would be very difficult if the health centre were to be moved.  They may not be genuine about finding alternative premises and there is no bus service to Carrigaline.

Cllr D’Alton:  Offering opinion this time as opposed to fact.  They are acutely aware of the lack of a bus service between Passage West and Carrigaline and has no reason to doubt that their search for an alternative premises is also genuine.  But it may help to write to them as a Municipal District and impress the importance of keeping public health service in Passage West.

It was agreed that we would do this.  Cllr D’Alton to forward the contact to the MDO.

 

Cllr. E Jeffers

  1. “That the Municipal District would consider the use of funding from the Town Development Fund for the purpose of public realm enhancement in the Togher Road area in conjunction with works taking place during the Douglas/Togher Flood Relief Scheme.”

‘Cllr Jeffers Public Realm Togher.pdf’

Cllr Jeffers:  The Development Plan speaks of regeneration for the area.  Because there are flood relief works going on there, thinks there would be an opportunity to use funds from the TDF to enhance the area.  There is going to be a meeting with the community association and the tidy towns.  Welcomes that.  Thinks it would be a good idea to do the works while the OPW is doing the work.

Cllr Forde:  Supports.  When you speak of public realm improvements, I think of statues and trees.  You are probably thinking of footpaths, etc.  This will not come out of the Area Office budget.  There is a huge amount of money spent on the Arts section.  Public realm could be incorporating this.

Margaret says the meeting will need to happen first and that Kevin is also suggesting that the TDF would provide targeted initiatives within the main towns.  However Togher would not be included in this as it is not a main town.

Cllr Jeffers:  The same sort of money was spent from the TDF on a footpath in Rochestown.

Cllr Desmond supports too and thinks we should follow this up at our next Council meeting.

Cllr Harris thinks Togher falls between two stools and badly needs investment.

 

  1. “That this Municipal District be given a written report on staffing levels in cemeteries within this Municipal District for the last 8 years. The report should include the number of staff at each cemetery for each year and the different roles.”

Cllr Jeffers:  No report back on this.  Can’t comment on something I don’t have!

AE:  I didn’t do a report on it.  Fell between two stools.  For as long as I’ve been here, we’ve had 3 staff permanently assigned to an individual cemetery.  Outside of that, the maintenance of the other cemeteries are contracted.  One is maintained by our own staff.

Cllr Jeffers:  Has spoken before about maintenance of Douglas cemetery.  This is more about the staffing issue again.  Knows the staff do as much as they can.  Have we our own staff in St. James’s?  Have noticed little things there: rubber straps broken, bits of grass not done.  Also this same graveyard, could the gates this be opened so that people could drive in further?

AE:  The caretaker will assist in any situation when he is on site.  We can’t leave the gate open for many security based reasons.  The internal roadway would lend itself to joyriding.

Cllr D’Alton asked what defined whether a graveyard would get a permanent member of staff.  Was it on the basis of size alone?

Cllr Harris has had complaints about the condition of the cemetery in Douglas.

AE:  The staff in the three cemeteries are a legacy really.  Permanent staff were put in these cemeteries because they are our biggest cemeteries.  There is a permanent member of staff in the Douglas cemetery.  If there are any issues we will deal with them as they arise.

 

  1. “That the Engineer would consider road and pedestrian improvements with regards to safety from Scart Cross to the airport roundabout. Such improvements may include road widening, junction improvements, line painting and extension of footpaths.”

Cllr Jeffers thanks for works done to date.  Appreciates it would be very difficult to justify resources for a road that isn’t a primary or secondary road.  It is a very busy road though and only getting worse with the area continuing to develop.  The road narrows by the junction going left to Ballygarvan.  Could something be done there?  From the airport to Farmer’s Cross is very dangerous too.  Knows ditches have been cut recently and that has helped.

AE:  We can look at the junctions – you have raised Cooney’s Lane before.  It comes back again to capital resources and the justification for spend.  You are right – it is a rat run.  This is one of the reasons we did the works we did this year.  We can’t do much more other than work at junctions.  There is a proposal to do works at Farmers Cross which will improve things for pedestrians in that local area.  We intend to follow on what has been done to date in improving safety at the bend.  There have been issues in the past for traffic coming from Ballygarvan losing control on the bend.  Last year the fence was moved back.  We’ll do a little extra this year.  The footpaths might have to wait until the following year.

Cllr Jeffers:  Stresses that point is lethal.  If anything was to be looked at, it would be here.

 

Cllr. M R Desmond

  1. “To ask that this Municipal District would investigate the possibility of handing over the waste land at the rear of properties in Grange Wood Court or alternatively cut the trees and clear and maintain the area which is completely overgrown.”

Cllr Desmond:  This is a historic issue.  Some residents tried to take over this in the past.  Rats are a problem.

AE:  I was asked to clear up the area before because of a lot of dumping that was going on.  Would be delighted to see the residents taking it over.  There is access from the estate.  It would make sense.

Cllr Jeffers supports.  Cllr Forde also supports and compliments the area office for the work done there over the years.  A lot of the dumping there has been the fault of the residents.   Best to chop the overgrowth so there is no cover.

 

  1. “To ask that this Municipal District give due consideration to the reduction of green space to allow for necessary parking and safe emergency vehicle access in Grange Way, and Grange Wood Court.”

AE:  This was raised by Deputy O Laoghaire when he was in the Chamber in relation to Grange Way.  I went to look at it at the time.  The green in Grange Way is very large.  We went as far as getting a contractor to price it.  It didn’t proceed because we didn’t have the resources.  We’ll take another look at it.  Grange Wood Court is different because the green is tiny.  Will investigate.

Cllr McGrath: We’re trying to progress this in the Planning SPC.  We’ve all had different motions on this kind of thing over the years.  There are instances and practical situations where even going in 1 metre would make a difference.

 

  1. To ask the Engineer for an update in relation to the weed spraying on public pathways and public realm in the Municipal District and with particular reference to the Grange Road and the beginning of the Rochestown Road at the Douglas Village end towards Douglas Court Shopping Centre.”

Cllr Desmond:  Realised I was doubling up on an issue brought up last month.  Weeds are very bad on the relief road too.

AE:  We are spraying.  We have our own staff spraying.  Will look after this if it is not done.

 

Cllr. M D’Alton

  1. “That Cork County Council would investigate the feasibility of laying a footpath on Upper Fairy Hill, Monkstown from the top of Carrigmahon Hill to The Orchards.”

Already discussed.

 

  1. “That an additional light would be installed close to the Monastery Road/Judge’s Lane junction to increase safety at this dangerous bend.”

Cllr D’Alton described where this is.  Residents have asked for even one more light closer to the junction.  Thinks it would be technically feasible because there are poles and there is already public lighting along the most dense stretch of housing.  When children are walking up the hill from school on winter evenings, etc. it would give them greater visibility at the blind bend.

AE:  Will look at this.  Unlikely to happen this year.

 

  1. “That this Municipal District would provide a full update on the Town and Village Renewal funding awarded to Passage West last year for the production of an Urban Renewal Plan

‘Cllr D’Alton T&V Passage West.pdf’

Cllr D’Alton:  Very pleased with the report.  We can now begin to progress this with SECAD.

 

8.  Votes of Congratulations

Cllr Murphy:  Congratulations to Maeve O’Brien for winning gold and silver medals in the recent karate World Championships.

Cllr D’Alton:  Asks that we would send congratulations to the Passage West karate club for all the medal wins rather than to just singling out competitors.  So many won medals that we would inevitably leave someone out.

Agreed that we would do this.

Cllr McGrath:  Congratulations to Sarah on her recent promotion.

 

9.  Any other business

2017 Public Lighting programme

AE:  The annual public lighting budget covers about 50% of what we’re providing.  Funding sources are from lots of other areas too.  This is the 2017 programme.  Based on this and other areas, it is likely that it will go into 2018 before it is completed.

Cllr Forde:  Pleased with this.

Cllr McGrath:  Welcome.  It is late in the year that this news is coming.  It will be half way through the winter before these are in place.  What causes this delay?  There are two big schemes and lots of smaller ones.  It is good to do it this way.  What about the playground in Carrigaline?  We passed on a survey from parents in Carrigaline to the Council.  They went to efforts to do this and it was quite balanced.  On Sunday morning it was quite bad again.  We have to try to address the issue.  Is public lighting an option?  Saw in another playground some signage saying people are not allowed there after dark.  Would we pass a bye-law to that effect?

Cllr Harris:  Thanks for report.

Cllr Murphy:  Cost of Rockenham light is very high.  Why?

AE:  Some lights are more expensive to provide than others if there isn’t another light close or if there isn’t an available pole.

Cllr D’Alton:  Delighted with the report, especially the provision of lighting from Gobby Beach to Ringaskiddy.  This will make a real difference.

AOB:

Cllr Forde:  Briars/weeds – one on Grange Road by Shamrock Lawn and one on Donnybrook Hill.  They asked if someone could be sent out to tidy up the area.  She will send them on to AE.

Cllr Jeffers:  East Douglas Village – the place was destroyed with rubbish from a local eatery.  Every bin was full.  Crows tearing it out of the bins.  There has to be an onus on the local businesses to show responsibility.  Could we do something about this?

Also there is an anti-dumping initiative from the Department.  €650k was allocated last year and again this year.  Cllr Murphy has a motion about this in at full Council which had to be deferred.  Some MDs have applied for funding.  Thinks we should be too.  Gives funding for extra bins, cameras, drones, etc.

AE:  Applications for this are probably managed through the environment section.  Possibly is coming down to the anti-litter unit and their resources.  Would love to think there was a source of funding for this.  We are well aware of that problem from that particular eatery.  He has told me in the last month that he will make sure the bins are not overflowing.  Spoke to him about two weeks ago.

Cllr Harris: Thinks we should be taking much more action on the playground in Carrigaline.  We don’t have anything like that in the park in Douglas and it makes a huge difference.  Something needs to be done pretty fast there.

AE:  A few years ago Douglas had its problems too.  It is helped in Douglas because the Community Association staff open and close the gates of the park.  If I could do something in Carrigaline, I’d be doing it.  The gardai are aware of it.  There is some element of CCTV in the area and they have been looking at it.

Cllr D’Alton:  Concurs with Cllr Jeffers on the litter from take-aways.  Very bad at the moment.  It is a problem that pizza boxes won’t fit into the litter bins with the small round holes.  We provide those to deter household dumping.  Can’t think of anything we can do directly but is sick of the rubbish.

Understands there is subsidence in the playground in Passage West arising from the Irish Water works.  There was subsidence on the park side from the previous Irish Water works.  At the time, the MDO had just put a new surface on the playground and it was looking really well.  The subsidence followed just afterwards and it was never fixed properly.  The cracks were just sealed.  It has never been the same and has had several complaints about children falling on it.  It is not acceptable that the subsidence on the water side would be dealt with in the same way as that on the park side.  Absolutely not ok.

AE:  There will be a requirement on the contractor to put this right.  The contractor this time is different from the contractor the last time.  Will follow up on this with Irish Water and on the previous damage too.

Cllr McGrath: Has spoken about it before, but bollards are missing at the Tesco entrance to the Community Park.  Cars are now parking at the entrance.

AE:  We have the bollards but just haven’t installed them.  That was one of those jobs that just didn’t get done.

Cllr Harris:  The limestone blocks on the Tesco side of that entrance are not out on the edge of the footpath and so people are parking on the road side of them.  Could they be moved out?

AE:  Those blocks mark the extent of the private ground belonging to the shopping centre.  Accepts that they would work better if they were closer to the road.

A discussion followed about the desirability to upgrade this uncontrolled pedestrian crossing.

Cllr Murphy asked why the road markings in Passage West have not been refreshed.

AE says that she had explained before that they will be done when Irish Water has finished digging up the roads.  They will be done then.

Cllr Murphy asked whether the Council has ever done a one-off cut on the grass on the right hand side going up to Maulbaun, with the GAA looking after it thereafter.  The AE said that to the best of her knowledge that in her time, the Council has never cut the grass there.  They will not be doing more cutting of general areas than they have already committed to.