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.
Confirmed – Cllrs Canty and D’Alton
2. Consideration of recommendations and reports
(i) Report to Members on YourCouncil.ie.
We will defer this to May.
(ii) Housing Report for Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District April 2018.
(i) Correspondence TII re N28 – Douglas Exit to R609, Carrigaline Road.
(ii) Correspondence Depatment Education and Skills re proposed Educate Together School Rochestown/Douglas.
(iii) Correspondence from Planning Department re the Bond for the development at Maryborough.
Cllr Forde is not in the Chamber.
(iv) Correspondence from Environment Department re litterbins
(v) Proposals for extra 30 kph zones within the Municipal District.
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
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
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
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
- “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.”
- “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.”
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.
- “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
- “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.
- “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
- “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.
- “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
- “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
- “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.
- “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.
- “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!
- “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.
- “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.
- Votes of congratulations
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.
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
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 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
Proposed Cllr D’Alton. Seconded Cllr McGrath.
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
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
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.
(i) Correspondence from TII – Ringaskiddy Playground Pedestrian Crossing N28.
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
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
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.
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
- “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.”
- “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
- “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
- “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.
- “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.
- “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
- “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
- “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: 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.
- “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.
- “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
- “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.
- “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.
- 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
- “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.”
- “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.
- “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: 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
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.
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.
1. To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 18thApril 2017
Proposed and seconded.
Cllr Forde asks whether there was an update on her request that we would buy Barry’s Field in Douglas.
MDO was wondering what role we could have in it because there is an active planning file.
Cllr Forde says she understands that further information was requested. Wants an inkling that they would be willing to examine the frame.
Cllr D’Alton asks about Marino Point. She had sent a copy of the bond onto the MDO after the last meeting. Wondered if the planning department had given an update.
The MDO said he had sent the bond on to them. He doesn’t think they had any record of it. He will talk to the Director of Planning but doesn’t think we will get very far.
Cllr D’Alton asks about Dock Terrace. The MDO had agreed to contact the owner and to inspect them.
The MDO said he was in Passage West with Jim Molloy, the new SEO. They are going to talk about Dock Terrace before they do anything more.
Cllr D’Alton confirms that grasscutting will be addressed later in the meeting.
Cllr McGrath had asked at the last meeting about the walkway between Lehenaghmore and Lenhenaghbeg. He would also like an update on the junction between Barry’s and Driscoll’s pub.
AE: Confirmed that the area in Lehenaghmore is belonging to Cork County Council. Is hoping to look at it on the ground and see if the (much depleted) Gateway crew can do small works there. Doesn’t know if it is within their capacity.
Barry’s junction – there are markings there already. Not sure if there is much more that can be done. It is a stop junction. We will try to highlight this.
2. Consideration of Reports and Recommendations
(i) Grange Road – Tramore Valley Park Pedestrian and CycleLink including bridge over the N40
We’re working on this for quite a while. It will run down the valley, past Vernon Mount, cross the N40 and link into existing and future path to the city. It will form part of the overall network of the city environs. The Grange/Frankfield area has restricted access by car. The two routes are very congested and the N40 adds a significant barrier which adds to the congestion. This offers good opportunity to link the area to the city by walking/cycling. The length is less than 1 km and another 1km brings you into the city. We think that if this city were to proceed, it would be quite popular. This is a transportation rather than recreational route. Our primary interest is in transportation.
The Council bought the field at Grange known as the Donkey Field and that allows us to feed directly to the Grange Road. Some of the gradients are steep by the Grange Road and we propose to provide cycle steps. There are seven separate sets of cycle steps designed to deal with this. We also propose a separate longer more meandering route that avoids the steps and will be useable by wheelchairs/buggies.
Public lighting will operate until 10pm and will come back on in the early morning. This arrangement is the same as for Ballybrack and is good for wildlife.
Cllr Jeffers: Very welcome overall. Wanted for a long time. Connectivity is the big issue. Around the back of this would be used a lot for cycling. Measures should be put in place to slow cyclists down because people will go fast on this.
Cllr Desmond wonders if it will ever be closed or is it just that the light will go off at nighttime?
Cllr McGrath: Very positive.
Cllr D’Alton: Despite previous request for a green bridge, the proposed bridge doesn’t look too bad. Thanks Peter O’D for having answered successive emails on this in the past few months. What do cycle steps look like? The width of the main pathway with the steps is indicated as 4 metres but what is that of the meandering path?
Cllr Harris: Will there be security cameras on the bridge? Is it an enclosed structure? For security reasons, thinks it should be.
Cllr Canty supports too. There has always been talk about connectivity to this area from Grange.
Cyclists will have to get off to cycle through the steps. So areas with the higher gradients can’t be sped on. The rest is relatively flat. There is no incentive for cyclists to go fast. Cyclist behaviour is an issue all the time. There are issues with pedestrians as well. Imagines that if this were open it would be popular and heavily used. This is the main reason people will slow down because they have to share. There are no proposals to put in barriers to slow cyclists down.
The proposal is to pick up accesses that are existing and not to close them. Will be open 24-7. The Tramore Valley park will close at night time. That is the exception. Whatever regime is there, we will have to respect that. Expects there will be a gate on the bridge.
Anti-social behaviour – we have built in ducting for security cameras. We should be able to service them without having to lay further ducts. We’ll have to wait and see how the anti-social thing goes. High use is the greatest deterrent to anti-social behaviour. The Passage West line is the best example of that. We have other areas where there are more problems. There were problems in Ballybrack initially although we feel we have resolved that largely. Security cameras aren’t a high cost; the high cost is in the monitoring.
The path is 4 metres wide. We intended that the meandering path would be less because it is not likely to be used very much. Expects 90% of pedestrians/cyclists will use the direct route so this will be 3 metres.. Our approach to these things is to provide 4 m where possible.
Knows there is criticism that this isn’t a green bridge. Normally a green bridge comes when you create severance. In this case we’re providing connectivity rather than severing. The need for us to provide compensating measures isn’t as high as it might be in other situations. Accepts that the concept would be fabulous. It would not be possible at the level of investment we’re able to tap into.
The answer to the security cameras question is something that will have to be dealt with in the longer run.
Cycle steps are just normal steps with a channel at one side. Your wheels go in the channel and you dismount and push your bike.
There is nothing specific in this to stop skateboarders. The issue here is the handrail and how available that might be. This is a preliminary design; we’re going for Part 8. Those kind of details can be addressed afterwards in detailed design.
Funding – this is a significant project. We’re at the €3m level. The bridge is relatively expensive because abutments have to be provided and we have to cross the city and harbour watermain. We will be looking to national agencies to help fund this. The arguments will be that severance has happened there by the provision of other infrastructure and this will provide connectivity. National agencies have been spoken to. They accept that there is a need. There are few projects that give this amount of connectivity.
On enclosure – the intention is not to enclose it. We gave a lot of time to the design of the bridge. Part of the team involved using bridge architects. We looked at a number of options and arrived at this one given the aesthetics and cost. It has high-sided arching and supports so it does not lend itself to anti-social behaviour. There are a number of bridges over the N40 and none of them is enclosed. There is no protection at all on the Blackrock Greenway bridge. To enclose it would make it unattractive to the normal user. We have never done enclosed bridges, not even over railways.
Going forward for the Part 8 is proposed and seconded (Cllr Jeffers and Cllr D’Alton).
(ii) Report of the Economic Development, Enterprise & Community Directorate to Municipal District Committees – Quarterly Report to END of April 2017
Construction has progressed on the development of the community enterprise centre in Dunmanway in conjunction with the local community, Enterprise Ireland, Cork County Council and Clann Credo. This will result in 3 units of enterprise space and office and hotdesking facilities on a site supplied by Cork County Council.
MDO: These reports will be brought to us more often from now and will be tailored for our MD.
Cllr D’Alton asked whether for enterprise centres like this whether we generally own the land in advance or whether we purchase it.
PS: We generally own the land in advance. Dunmanway is part funded by Cork County Council. It was part of a national scheme brought out by Enterprise Ireland a few years ago. Communities could apply for funding but there was a long lead in time. This is probably the last one that will be developed under that scheme. So it is part funded by Enterprise Ireland, part by Cork County Council and part by the local community enterprise group. At the moment the building is largely finished.
Cllr Jeffers asked if we could get facts on employment creation, etc. on grants that are given out for start-up businesses such as these. In particular whether the jobs involved are low-paid or whether they are attractive, fair jobs.
PS: Yes. In general the companies are start ups and employing less than 10 people. He explains the process an entrepreneur will go through to get start up of a micro business. Will ask the Local Enterprise Office the question about the quality of jobs. Cautions that high wages would leave businesses in some sectors (such as restaurants) simply uncompetitive and so wages paid to employees are in part governed by this.
(iii) Section 85 Agreement
Cork County Council, in collaboration with the Office of Public Works (the funding authority for the scheme), intends to undertake engineering works along the Ballybrack Stream, Grange Stream and Tramore River with the objective of minimising the risk of flooding in the areas of Douglas and Togher. The agreement of full Council is to be sought to the entering into a Section 85 agreement with Cork City Council for the purposes of Planning and Construction of Douglas Flood Relief Scheme.
(I left the room to talk to PS.)
(iv) Control of Dogs (Parks and Greenways) Bye-Laws 2017
(Missed the beginning of this discussion.)
MDO: Regional Park has over 3000 people/day.
Cllr Harris: Douglas Community Park – lady walking with her children. Dog comes up and scares her child. She tells the man who owns the dog that he should keep his dog under control. He tells her where to go. That’s not right.
Cllr Jeffers: We shouldn’t rush into this. Thinks we have to take action. People are coming to us. Agree 100% that greenways should have bye-laws for dog control. The parks would be good if we could have designated areas for dog exercise. The long leads are a nightmare. Doesn’t know if we can regulate them. Greenways are built for pedestrians.
Cllr Murphy: Have we the manpower if we introduce these? In the MUGA, they’re still going in there and letting dogs off.
Cllr D’Alton: Have made my opinion clear by email. Think bye-laws are essential on greenways both for dogs on leads and extendable leads. Doesn’t think they should be extended to parks. We can’t implement the laws we’ve got. Especially dog fouling. Sees people going into Marmullane Park every morning with their dogs. They go in when there is no one else around. They keep the dog on a lead going in, let the dog off inside and exercise them off lead because they have no other place. They can’t do it any more on the greenway. They pick up the dog poo, put it into the bin (on which the lock is broken), put the dog back on the lead and go. They are doing no harm to anyone, it is totally responsible but a bye-law would say they can’t do that any more.
MDO: Dogs have to be kept under effective control under the Act. The dog warden says that without bye laws it is very difficult for him to enforce that element of the Act. Cllr D’Alton is misinterpreting what is actually there. Dog warden says that if we want him to be able to go into parks on a regular basis, they have to have bye-laws to be able to deal with the situation. It doesn’t have to be a blanket ban. Suggests that we come up with proposals.
Cllr Canty says that he would be interested in bringing a bye-law in. We brought in our own dog wardens into the Regional Park under cover. They got abused by the dog owners when they remonstrated with them. You have people in wheelchairs and pushing buggies and the dogs are loose. We have to have the staff to implement them if we are going to pass bye-laws. We have five different entrances coming into the regional park so you can’t control it.
MDO says he doesn’t want to put the proposal back to SPC. We will be forever waiting for an answer. Would like us to put it on the agenda for next month and get our feedback in the interim. Maybe introduce time specific bye laws?
Cllr Murphy: This started in Passage West park when I asked for the sign about dangerous dogs to be put up. Maybe we should start there?
Cllr McGrath: The case for the greenway seems clear cut. Suggests that we do the bye laws for here only? Disagrees about not sending the issue to SPC.
MDO: No. If we do it for the greenway only, everyone will ask why we’re not including the parks. It is from people with small children in park that my complaints are coming.
(v) Schedule of Municipal Works 2017
MDO: We should be reporting back at least on a quarterly basis to the MD to see how the budgets are going. We haven’t done that to date. Will do it from now on.
Cllr D’Alton: Last year there was a H11 code which related specifically and only to the Passage West Greenway. Where is that this year and will it mitigate against the walkway that it is not there? Is worried about litter management (E05) and burial ground maintenance (E09) – litter management has nearly halved. Burial ground maintenance down by €34k. Good to see expenditure on regional roads and leisure facilities up. Also wonders about G02 on piers and harbours (G02). Had a motion in November asking that we would work out a schedule of slip maintenance. This was based on Budget 2017 which allocated this MD an additional €50,000 for maintenance of piers and harbours. Doesn’t see that additional money reflected here.
AE: Is not sure if that additional money would show on this. Thinks my request from November is being addressed.
MDO: These are the figures that were adopted in the budget. Will look into the litter and burial grounds.
(vi) Taxi Ranks Douglas
MDO: After consulting on this, the response that we received was that the only mechanism we can use is by making bye laws under the 2013 Act. So it is a matter for us to consider if we want to do this or not. Thought we should talk about it before we draft them. May make more problems than we can solve.
Cllr McGrath: It would require bye law changes. Is happy to proceed with this. Wants us to consult the taxi people. Asked that there would be adequate signage. Makes sense that it would coincide with the pay parking hours. There will be some taxi spaces still outside Ecos – should consider that we still need 4 spaces there. This is a significant enough change there. We will need to clarify that taxi parking will be after hours.
Cllr Jeffers: Sees the valid point of making more spaces available down towards Barrys. Spoke to the taxi people and thinks it important that we consult with them. Doesn’t think it feasible that it would revert at 6pm. Would make policing difficult. Thinks we should consult APCOA. How do we make it visible? Saturday would be an issue. The numbers of taxis increase on a Saturday.
Cllr D’Alton: There is a live planning application on Barry’s Field and if it is granted, the taxi rank will go. Maybe rather than setting into the time and expense of making bye-laws, we should wait until the result of the planning application is clear? It is at further information stage.
MDO: If we’re even going to discuss them with people we’re talking signage, etc. Wrt signage, it is much easier if there is the same rule every day. Doesn’t see it would be possible to change the rule for Saturdays. It makes the signage too complicated. How many spaces do ye want?
Cllr Jeffers says that we should get a formal reply from the taxi people. Have to remember that many of the taxi drivers are self employed and this is their patch. This is the only taxi rank in Cork County and it was hard fought for. We need to respect it.
Cllr Harris: Thinks we should leave this well alone, especially with the planning application.
Cllr McGrath: There are different views here. There are 10 spaces there; parking is at a premium during the day but taxis don’t use it much during the day. Have never seen more than one or two only during the day. But it is not so straightforward to bring in the bye-law change. The enforcement issue is a valid one. APCOA continue until 6pm – who enforces afterwards? Thinks the issue was worth considering.
Cllr Canty: Wait until the development is finalised and a decision is taken. We can revisit then.
(i) Response from TII re Ringaskiddy Playground – N28
Cllr D’Alton: Can’t help noticing that this is the first time since I was elected that we have had a response from TII on TII headed paper. Just thinks it is so sad that we’re reduced to this for a pedestrian crossing in the heart of a village in an industrial area beside a children’s playground. Brought both this and the Castlewhite-N71 junction up at the Southern Committee meeting this morning. The CRDO said that they would look at it in the next couple of weeks.
Cllr McGrath: Concurs. Ringaskiddy is in a unique situation. The playground is on one side of the road, the village on the other. Worries about the required studies TII outlines. Fears Ringaskiddy may not qualify.
Cllr D’Alton asks the AE whether she is familiar with protocol for getting pedestrian crossings in other villages with national roads running through them.
AE: Thinks that what the CRDO has already done is what they are asking for here. Other villages with national roads would be Innishannon, Castlemartyr – these are similar but have higher through traffic. Towns like these will be asking for pedestrians crossings also. So competitively it may be difficult to make the case for Ringaskiddy.
Cllr McGrath: Can we ask TII to give credence to some of the unique circumstances in Ringaskiddy? Heavy industry, etc.
AE: Expects that if the CRDO is to be asked to look at it, it is to them we should be writing.
Agreed we would do this.
(ii) Response from TII re N71 – Castlewhite Junction
4. Disposal of Property
(i) Grant of Wayleave and Right-of-Way at Douglas, Co. Cork to CADO Pvt. Limited, Cinema World, Douglas, Co Cork (plus owners and occupiers of adjoining and adjacent premises) for the consideration of €5,000 plus Council’s costs.
(ii) Grant of Wayleave and Right-of-Way at Douglas, Co. Cork to Douglas Central Properties Limited, 48 Upper Drumcondra Road, Dublin for the consideration of €5,000 plus Council’s costs.
MDO: This was brought to last month’s meeting and we agreed to revisit it. It has come back to this month’s meeting as two separate proposals.
AE: The right of way is being sought because the owners will need to cross Council land.
Cllr Harris: We should be asking a higher price for this. It is prime land.
MDO: We’re giving a right of way, not selling the land. The costs involved will be split between the two applicants.
Cllr D’Alton: Will the right of way be developed so that it is an actual road? Does this mean the tree line will go? There is informal parking under the trees used by MacDonalds because often their car park is full. Will this be gone too? Also you say it is to facilitate the planning permission but there is no planning permission on this site. The one in 2011 has expired and another has been lodged recently for an extension but wonders is there a precedent for considering an extension when the original permission has lapsed? We shouldn’t be facilitating a development that doesn’t have planning permission.
AE: Thought the planning permission hadn’t fully expired. Thought they had put in for an extension somewhere along the way.
Cllr McGrath agrees with Cllr Harris that this is a very low figure. The site owners are looking for something significant from the Council in terms of access.
Cllr Jeffers agres with them. Also agrees with Cllr D’Alton on tree line and parking.
AE: The strip of ground in question isn’t the width of the table. It is still providing access but is very small. These are two properties – one derelict and one semiderelict. Thinks it is in everybody’s interest to get these places developed.
MDO: The area is 0.004 of a hectare. You couldn’t get a shopping trolley through it!
Cllr McGrath suggests we send it back to the Property Section looking for an explanation as to how it was arrived at. This was agreed.
Grasscutting in difficult estates:
AE got an estimate of €6,000 for all three estates, i.e. €1,800 + VAT per cut for three cuts. Cautions that if we do this for these three estates, many more estates will be asking next year.
Cllr Jeffers: Speaking of Pinecroft in particular, it is an area that is not owned by any particular part of the estate. The residents will never cut it if we don’t.
MDO: There are other estates throughout the MD that have other large green areas. They can and will demand the same. We are talking about consistency ourselves across the MD. Most of the estates which have larger green areas are larger estates with aging populations. If we do it this year we’ll have two or three times the number of requests next year.
Cllr O’Donnabhain asks what we’re doing with Muskerry Estate and Highfield in Ballincollig. People are getting old in Muskerry and in Highfield, the residents on one side can afford to pay whilst those on the other can’t.
Cllr Canty: We always gave our own Council estates ride ons and amenity grants, but if this is happening, I’ll be the first to be asking for our estate to be cut next year.
Cllr Jeffers: Thinks this is more highlighting a deficiency generally with regard to maintenance of estates.
Cllr Desmond: Everyone wants their road done; everyone wants their footpath done. We prioritise these every year. Doesn’t think the 3 cuts would satisfy residents in other areas. Parkgate, for example, is meticulous and they have a huge green area. But they don’t want the Pinecroft arrangement. These 3 estates that were mentioned the last day keeping being renamed as the ones that are problematic.
Cllr Harris: These residents cut their grass; ownership of the large green areas is the issue.
Cllr McGrath: The way we’ve approached this in the last few years has been a fudge. We have operated by the squeaky wheel approach. Wants a transparent system put in place now. These are not traditional greens.
Cllr Jeffers: Agreed. People are saying they are paying their property tax and that they get nothing for it.
Cllr Desmond: Have been approached by other wanting their grass cut and have told them it won’t be done. Give us some credit!
MDO: This will have to come out of GMA. The Area Office doesn’t have the budget.
Agreed that it would be done.
6. Notices of Motion
To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:
Cllr. D Forde
- “That the Engineer examines if Cork County Council can assist in minimising anti social behaviour adjacent to Mount Oval.”
- “That the Municipal District Manager gives a report on what, if any restrictions, are placed on the erection of satellite dishes on residential properties.”
- “That the Engineer considers more safety measures on the zebra crossing at the Fingerpost Roundabout. In particular, motorists coming from the Rochestown Road on to the main Carrigaline Road. More prominent signage is needed and flashing lights on existing poles half way down poles. CCTV cameras to monitor offending motorists would be a big help.”
Cllr Forde wasn’t present.
Cllr. M R Desmond
- “To ask the Engineer for an update in relation to the pedestrian crossing near Foxwood School in Rochestown.”
AE: The school has to carry out road 3 safety audit as part of planning permission. Understands the safety issue arises when leaving the school. Our last approach has been to try to get the school to carry out that stage 3 audit. We can then see what would be the best location for this crossing.
- “To ask the Engineer to reinstate existing yellow lines at the front of Parkgate Estate, Grange.”
AE: This is no problem.
Cllr. S McGrath
- “To seek an explanation as to why grass was not cut in many areas until the first week of May.”
Cllr McGrath: This issue has come to me as a public rep. It isn’t a surprise that we need to cut the grass until March. Presume there is an explanation as to why it wasn’t cut until May and would like to hear it.
AE: The grasscutting contract didn’t go out until later this year. There were several reasons for that. A lot of areas formerly done by the Gateway staff have to come back into the contract. Crosshaven had to be included. We were also busy and the weather was so favourable the growing season came on us earlier. There were many areas around Carrigaline that were done as an extension of our last contract. This year’s contract itself started in mid April. The full area wasn’t completed until early May but there were plenty of areas done well before that. The first cut takes the longest. Hopes that there will be a noticeable improvement and will make it easier going forward.
- “To request a report outlining the proposed infrastructural improvements to be carried from the special planning contributions associated with the Education Campus site at Ballinrea, Carrigaline.”
AE confirms that there is an uncontrolled crossing at Ashgrove roundabout at present and this is to upgraded in association with the campus. Ballinrea Cross equally so.
- “To have a discussion about possible preventative measures against anti-social behaviour (outside normal hours of use) at the Carrigaline playground.”
Cllr McGrath: Something unsavoury was left in the playground recently. The idea of locking it has come up. Is this something we can consider? Do the reports to your office merit it? The gardai get called there on occasion and sometimes lock the playground themselves.
In Douglas they pay someone to do it.
AE: We are aware there is a problem. A member of staff does it in the Regional Park. It is done voluntarily in Douglas through the community association. The issue of locking it is down to financial resources.
MDO: Even if you lock the playground, they’ll still have access to the park.
Cllr Murphy: Same in Passage. There’s bigger young fellas there late at night. Maybe the gardai should be more active.
Cllr D’Alton: Similar issue in Monkstown playground recently. A swing has been detached and the surface of the playground damaged. In Passage they hang out after hours but they’re just sitting; there is no damage. Monkstown has a park situation similar to Carrigaline. Have always been conscious when this issue came up before wrt Passage that Pat O’Sullivan used to say when the playground in Carrigaline was installed first it was locked. There was more damage then than when it was subsequently left open. Opening it removed the challenge.
Cllr Harris: Suggests we look at lighting there. Thinks lighting is poor in the park.
MDO: Tidy Towns people would then complain that we were disturbing the birds and bats.
Cllr McGrath: Doesn’t agree that there more issues when the park was locked. There are more issues there now. Some are of an unsavoury nature. Gardai who were there when the park was locked say that there were fewer incidents when the park was locked. Thinks that if this get worse, we will have to be prepared to act on it.
Cllr. D Canty
- “That the Members of Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District be updated on the proposed horse grazing project at the Lee Road.”
Residents are very upset. This is coming in under the radar.
- “That an update be given in relation to line painting in the Ballincollig area.”
- “That the Engineer gives a report on the remedial works on the bad areas of footpaths in the Ballincollig area.”
Cllr Canty thanks the engineer for the responses.
Cllr. E Jeffers
- “That Grange Heights be given consideration for future footpath works programs.”
Cllr Jeffers: Last works done here was 10 years ago. To the RHS of entrance the path is away from the wall. Is hazardous.
- “That there would be a development along the boundary ditches of Grange Heights running along the Grange Road for a specific area for flowers or other items as to give this area a significant visual benefit.”
Cllr Jeffers: There used to be a nice patch here where the residents planted flowers. Nice features and the Grange Road lacks features. Would there be scope there that the residents could develop a small little area. They want a clean patch, perhaps could be done in relation with Douglas Tidy Towns.
AE: There is a very active residents group in Grange Heights. They have approached us before in relation to tidy up that area at the entrance to the estate. Many are now moving on a bit. We would be willing to help them out. Needs to be teased out a bit more. Not sure if we could do much but it would be would be willing to assist if plans were scaled back over a small area.
We’re well aware about the footpaths. We will address next year and if there is an isolated hazard, let us know.
- “To seek a written report on the possibility of implementing a pedestrian crossing within the vicinity of the entrance to Herons Wood and the bus stop on the road heading out of Carrigaline. The report should include the cost and any plans old or new to implement a pedestrian crossing in this area.”
Cllr Jeffers: Glad to see there have been contribution levies put in place for this.
Cllr. D O’Donnabhain
- “That this Municipal District requires the employment of a full time park warden for the Ballincollig Regional Park.”
Cllr O’Donnabhain: Asking for someone for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays to be employed. There have been some unsavoury incidents recently. Gives some examples of when rules weren’t obeyed. Describes an issue which led to the late opening of the park. Attempt by person to bring a sulky into the park. People not enforcing the dangerous dogs act. We need a full time warden. So much money has been spent in this park that it warrants it.
MDO: There is a financial implication with this proposal. We have to have at least 2 people. Can’t do with one. Staffing is something for the CE and we can refer this to him.
- “That this Municipal District would call on Cork County Council to introduce bye-laws preventing the placement of election posters in public areas.”
Cllr O’Donnabhain: This is an issue that was brought up at a recent meeting. Thinks it would be great if it came as a proposal from this MD.
Cllr D’Alton: It was brought up as part of the signage policy development at the Environment SPC. Was proposed but didn’t gain any traction. The disbenefits of election posters outweigh the benefits. Think it would be excellent if this MD could propose.
Cllr McGrath: We had this decision taken at full Council in the past. It wasn’t approached nationally. The idea of designated areas for postering is the way to go. To me, health and safety is the biggest issue. The posters can fall or blow off on top of a car.
The MDO explained that this is a decision that can be taken only nationally. We can’t introduce bye-laws ourselves to cover this. We can make an alternative proposal to contact the Department about it. Cllr O’Donnabhain would need to accept this alternative proposal as an amendment to his motion
Cllr D’Alton suggests wording. Cllr O’Donnabhain accepts. It was agreed that the MD writes to the Department to ask them to pass bye-laws to prohibit the hanging of election posters in public places.
- “This Municipal District requests double yellow lines to be painted on the approach road to the Ballincollig Regional park, in particular from the bend in the road for 200m, and also in the region of the entrance to Westcourt/Westcourt Heights.”
Cllr O’Donnabhain: Describes dreadful parking in this area. Can be packed with cars leading to hazard, in particular with cars parking on the bend. Gardai didn’t respond when called about it. If the fire brigade had been called to the park, they couldn’t access it. So asking for double yellow lines to be painted.
7. Votes of Congratulations
Cllr Desmond for Peter O’Keeffe of Frankfield.
Cllr Murphy for Cody Barrett – won gold medal in karate nationals
Cllr Harris for Peter O’Flynn – Mr. Cork body building championship
Cllr Jeffers for Everton Football Club – senior team for promotion
8. Any Other Business
Cllr Jeffers: Land beside Douglas GAA Club is for sale. Asks that the Council would make a serious community investment in buying this patch of land. It is a place of anti-social behaviour, so has a dual benefit.
Cllr D’Alton and Cllr Harris support. Cllr D’Alton says there is an acknowledged shortage of recreational space in Douglas.
Cllr McGrath says he has already spoken to the CE about this but no harm that it is brought up at MD level too.
MDO asks whether Douglas GAA has not bought additional land recently.
Cllr Jeffers says the land is unlikely to be suitable for anything other than recreation.
Cllr D’Alton describes latest damage in the Monkstown playground. AE says she got a phone call to the office about it also and they will look at it.
Cllr McGrath says there are bollards on the R610 between Raffeen Tce and N28 that are unsightly. Asks that they would be looked at. Also there is a manhole by the entrance to Robert’s Bridge car park. The surface of the road around it has broken away.
MANAGER’S REPORT UNDER SECTION 179, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT, 2000: Proposed Development of Pedestrian and Cycle Greenway and Ancillary Works from Glenbrook to Raffeen Bridge
Cllr Canty (FG): As Chair of the Municipal District, is pleased to propose this project. It would be a great asset to the Monkstown – Raffeen area.
Cllr Desmond (FF): Is against the proposal as it stands. Acknowledges the work that has been done in-house but there are concerns with this particular route. Takes in an existing and established walkway. Is predominantly used by elderly people. The shared use is what is causing the issue. The primary users of this pathway would be like skittles. There is a strong tradition of fishing off the quay wall. That’s posing a problem too. Very disappointed that the concerns that have been raised by Members and the public haven’t been able to be addressed.
Cllr Collins (FG): Supports Cllr Canty in proposing this. Thinks it a pity that a section of a 25km walk from Páirc Uí Chaoimh to Crosshaven would be discontinued for this section. It’s not for the people of Monkstown, Glenbrook and Raffeen; it’s for everyone. We’re trying to encourage everyone to get out and be active. Very disappointing that there isn’t support for it. There are safety issues but the greenway from Carrigaline to Crosshaven is a shared space as is the rest of the line and there have yet to be accidents.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Thanks the team working in-house on this, especially Clare Cronin, for a very long time. Think the concept was first introduced to us in 2012. Am generally very much in favour of development of greenways all around Cork Harbour. Many years ago a railway line ran between Blackrock and Crosshaven. A greenway has been developed along the route between Blackrock and Passage West and between Carrigaline and Crosshaven. It is off road nearly all the way. This proposal is for part of the section that would connect the two. In one section it isn’t for off-road but on an existing footpath. Many of the older and more vulnerable users who couldn’t deal with the bicycles on the Passage West to Hop Island section moved to this footpath for walking. It is wide and flat and known as the Cardiac Mile. It is their only physical and social outlet. They will not be able to share this surface with bikes and so they will have nowhere to go. The path runs alongside a busy, fast moving regional road. There is real risk to cyclists of falling off the path onto the road. They are totally unprotected. But there a second stretch of this proposed route where the road is winding and dangerous and here we can provide off-road greenway. Would be real benefits from developing this section. If this part of the proposal could be separated out, would support. But it is being presented as one proposal and so very sadly cannot support it.
Cllr Jeffers (SF): Sinn Féin won’t be supporting this proposal. Elderly people use this walkway because it is not congested with traffic. We are in favour of cycle lanes. In Passage, people are not using the route because of the business. This is too close to a busy road. Has been speaking to a few anglers on the walkway. They have been there for years. There has been accommodation further down but they won’t use that point because the fishing isn’t good for them there. They say they won’t move from the place they fish in.
Cllr Forde (FG): Very seldom that I disagree with you, Mayor, but have to say that we don’t live in an ideal world. Not all projects are ideal. It’s not long ago that people in Rochestown didn’t even have footpath. They had to walk against a wall and you know what the population of Rochestown is like. Hop Island to Passage West is a wonderful amenity. The Blackrock Greenway is a wonderful amenity. It is not ideal – dogs running loose, cyclists. I travel extensively and when I go abroad I see that shared surfaces are normal. You get used to the bicycle bells. We will lose the money if we don’t pass this proposal. Thinks we should pass and adapt as time goes on, improving on the bits that aren’t entirely satisfactory. Supports.
Cllr Harris (Ind): On balance, thinks we should support it. It has been around a long time. These issues that have been raised can be dealt with in the fullness of time. On the balance of evidence, supports.
Cllr Murphy (SF): I cycle a lot around that area. Is worried because the one from Rochestown isn’t working if you listen to the people around the area.
Cllr McGrath (FF): From the outset has raised serious concerns about the shared use of the footpath. Had hoped that the issues would be addressed through the process but they haven’t. Appreciates that there are physical restrictions. Compliments Clare Cronin on the work she has done. My position has been consistent on shared use. Thinks it should have a 4 metre width similar to the Douglas Amenity Park. We have two existing greenways. Sees issues with them very regularly. People don’t know what side of the path they should be at. There’s no proper Code of Conduct in place. Gets complaints from users. Thinks there is a particular safety issue with the path beside the busy regional road. Especially with families on bicycles which is the type of user we’re promoting. Put forward a number of suggestions that didn’t happen. Isn’t prepared to support it. It is now proposed to suspend the greenway through Monkstown; thinks it should be extended further to accommodate existing walkers. The harbour has to be for all users.
CE: Continous development of the Cork Harbour Greenway is a prioritised project within the Council. There is significant demand from other regions for in-house resources to develop other greenways. There are certain constraints in the area as there would be in developing any other greenway. We’re not talking about a shared footpath; we’re talking about a shared greenway. Can assure members that this particular greenway is designed within the guidelines that are there to provide for safe greenways and situations that are not dangerous to users. Provides for a variety of widths. Is reduced to 3 metres in the section that is causing the challenge. Is still within the guidelines. Members might recall that the Waterford greenway is 3 metres wide, albeit in a different scenario. It is neither lined nor segregated. It is natural that there would be a level of uncertainty among certain users. Went there myself. Spent time, walked it. Saw leisure cyclists using the existing footpath as a shared space on the footpath that is causing the problem. So we are increasing safety for the people currently using it. Members need to consider this. There will be no other proposal coming before Council on this particular section of greenway.
Cllr Linehan Foley (Ind) speaks of how wonderful the Waterford Greenway is and what an asset it is to the region.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind) says the Waterford Greenway is a totally different scenario. There is a far lower level of use there. This proposal is for a commuter route in a suburban area. Many Members voiced their disagreement with this.
Cllr Canty (FG) repeats the proposal. Cllr Forde (FG) says we’ll lose €3.5m of funding.
The proposal is put to a vote. 22 in favour, 20 against, 3 abstain. The proposal is carried.
Tenders are being opened in the Chamber. They relate to the fitting out of the motor tax office.
Mayor proposes a suspension of standing orders at 1pm for discussion of issues in the Local Area Plan.
1. Confirmation of Minutes
Will be done at 1pm.
2. Votes of Sympathy
Cllr Frank O’Flynn had a vote of sympathy.
3. Disposal of Property
Bandon – Kinsale Municipal District Meeting, 27th January, 2017:(a) Disposal of property at Camden Fort Meagher, Crosshaven.
4. Section 19 of the Local reenwayovernment Act, 2001:
Filling of Vacancies on Housing SPC, Arts Culture & Languages SPC and LCDC West Committees
Cllr K Murphy proposes Cllr John O’Sullivan. Seconded by Cllr M Hegarty. For all three committees.
Head of Finance:
- The budget is divided into two: contractual and non-contractual.
- The ongoing programme of works is contractual. These include housing, roads, water, recreation, municipal districts. There is a further €129m which is based on business need. These are schemes we want to progress but we have to go through statutory processes. We have to make sure that funding is in place before we can progress at all.
- This programme doesn’t require Council approval.
- We’ll get as much grant funding as we can.
- ICR = internal capital receipts. Comes from tenant purchase of houses. We reinvest this.
- Social housing is the biggest area of proposed investment. Ties in with commitments under Rebuilding Ireland. Includes €131m contractually committed. Part V is included in this, turnkey developments, energy efficiency, social housing construction (Clonakilty, Fermoy, Ballincollig, Bantry, Kanturk). €29m not contractually committed is for single house and land acquisition.
- The schemes we hope to bring forward are contained in here.
- Footpaths – looking at over €1m per year.
- National roads is the biggest area of expenditure – includes provision for Ringskiddy, Macroom, Dunkettle. Most will be dealt with by TII but the initial elements are included in our programme. Also includes some other projects like the pavement at Lissarda.
- “Other” is things like the Science Park, Carrigaline.
- “Regional and local roads” is improvement works across the County.
- LIHAF – a lot of the works required for this will be roads based. Ballincollig, Glanmire, Midleton, Carrigaline.
- Burial grounds – we have an ambitious programme to extend and develop. At the moment we have funding of only €0.5m. We have intentions to develop this further.
- Non-contractual programme in “environment” includes for capping of landfills. Air monitoring included there also (?).
- Provision in “fire” for three fire stations.
- We will need to source funding for the libraries.
- Public realm is something we discussed as part of the revenue budget. We want to try and improve the public realm in our towns. We are committed to this and to sourcing funding for it.
- Tourism includes Camden. We have applied for the Fáilte Ireland grant for Dursey.
- If we need to buy land for housing, we will be borrowing.
CE: We are required to bring a capital report showing proposed expenditure. It isn’t setting out a whole range of projects. We all know there are lots of things we’d like to progress. This simply captures the entirety of what we’d like to do if we had funding.
Cllr O’Shea (Ind): Lots to be welcomed in this. Particularly recreation and amenity. Discuss playground improvement programme please. Worthwhile seeing that reinstated. Hopes we might get a briefing at Municipal District level about how this will be implemented. Also welcomes footpaths; thinks the commitment to footpaths should be more. It works out at only about €120k per Municipal District per year. Kanturk Mallow is subventing footpaths at Municipal District level. Thinks we need to look at this again at budget time.
Cllr G Murphy (FG): Welcomes. €2.6bn extra was mentioned from the Southern Assembly between 2018 – 2021. Cooperation between 3 cities in the southern region, which is critical. In the report, they mentioned that some of the €2.6bn should be spent at the discretion of local authorities. Asks that the priority would be put on rural towns and rural villages. Have we made that application in conjunction with the Southern Assembly? Have we backed up the Southern Assembly’s primary objective about the M20?
Cllr Hegarty (FG): Thanks Lorraine. Very encouraging. Thought we were now renting/leasing our fleet. So what is fleet investment about? The €4.2m on the 2nd slide. What is that about?
Cllr O’Grady (SF): Huge increase on previous programme. Rolling programme is to be welcomed. Overall figure transferred from the revenue budget to the capital budget? Any money to be transferred from the capital budget to revenue? Housing – in the last 3 year programme there was €15.1m put into affordable housing. Has that come to an end? Also the DPG grants, there was €700k committed before. Doesn’t see it committed now? Housing programme – in 2015 we were given figures of 469 units provided in the county. 168 were under social leasing. But the national oversight and audit committee report says it is 52 short of the figure we were given last year. Why? 98 local authority builds and acquisitions – we were told this last year. But more recent report said 90. Voids numbers are different too giving a shortage of 29 houses. Can these be explained. Delivery of 429 units is to be very much welcomed. LIHAF – €27.3 is contractually committed but we’ve received funding for €15m and we have to come up with €5m. That’s €20m. So where is the €27.3 coming from?
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Thanks Lorraine. Footpaths and roads are both included under the “roads” category. Cyclepaths and facilities for bikes are always included in “recreation and amenity” or in something else. Could they please be included under roads also because unless we start the mindset of planning for them from the outset, they will never be a real alternative to the car. Also we are very anxious to improve the appearance of our town centres. Many are blighted by dereliction which we can put right using compulsory purchase. It would be good to see provision for CPO in the capital budget. Last year’s capital budget was for a spend of €165k, with €50k of required funding to be found through grants and other means. Would like to know how much of that €50k we succeeded in getting.
Cllr O’Flynn (FF): Welcomes long term planning for quality of life. Voids are taking too long to turn around. CBL is working very well. There is nothing worse than a Council house lying idle. Parking in estates, especially older estates, is a big issue. People have to have cars; there are no buses and no trains. When I ask, the answer is “no funding”. Regional and local roads – I understand our funding is back 10%. We have to look after these. Playground programme is very welcome. There was serious damage done again to the playground in Fermoy recently. A disgrace. Perhaps there should be CCTV put in. On Mallow Relief Road and M20 – thanks Michael Lynch who did a lot of work on this. Asks the Mayor is there any update on when we can meet the Minister. Now there is rumour about a new line for the road going through Cahir and Mitchelstown. This is crazy; it must go through Mallow.
Cllr Carroll (FF): Thanks all. Very encouraging budget. Makes a strong case for the state of the roads. They are away behind the standards that you find around the rest of the county. The southern region and the €2.6bn is not to be sneezed at. Hopes the Council has a submission made for a slice of that money. There are a lot of villages and towns losing out because of the lack of LEADER money. This is a golden opportunity to replace that and bring life back into those villages and towns again. Hopes the Council has made a submission.
Cllr O’Cadhla (Ind): Thanks for report. Asks that we clarify the housing element. You said we would look at borrowing for land purchase. Is it built in that the Council would borrow for construction of houses also? There are good sources of borrowed funds available now. Welcomes the number of projected housing completions but think it is completely inadequate in terms of the need. It is one of the biggest crises in our society. If it means borrowing money to deliver houses, thinks we should.
Cllr Doyle (FF): welcomes the MD funding in particular. Especially public realm, footpath, parks and playgrounds improvements. Mid term review of the roads programme is up during the summer. Highlights the need for the M20 and the route of the M20. Maybe some of the €2.6bn could be used in the short term to provide relief roads to the likes of Charleville and Mallow?
Cllr K Murphy (FG): Ambitious programme and welcome. Maintenance and upgrade of national secondary routes is never mentioned. €680k for the county is invested in this as a whole. A disgrace: they are the forgotten routes. Thinks this should increase to several million. Wonders if we can look for an opening to fund these.
Cllr T Collins (Ind): Importance of the M20. It should not go through Mitchelstown. Huge bad bends there where people have been killed before. If the M20 is put in place, this would solve the problem there. Should go from Cork to Mallow to Limerick. Would improve Buttevant and Charleville. The Mallow Relief Road cannot be forgotten.
Cllr S McCarthy (FG): Thanks Lorraine. National roads budget is €86m. Regional and local roads is €9m. Understands TII is the national roads authority but wonders why while there is huge investment needed in national roads, the smaller roads are suffering drastically. Is this allocation to national roads because it is locked in money from TII? Maybe it is more a national issue that we need to look at this breakdown and disparity?
Head of Finance:
- Fleet investment – we are progressing to leasing smaller vehicles but not the bigger ones like velocity patchers and bigger trucks. We have to maintain the fleet. A lot of it is over 10 years old.
- Capital transferred from revenue account – we transferred about €13.6m from revenue to capital over the 2014 – 2017 period. That goes across areas from coastal protection, tourism, housing, etc. Our capacity to be able to do that is based on what we provide in the budget, the variation in LPT, etc. If money isn’t spent in the capital account, we post it back through the revenue account but this rarely happens.
- We have a provision in capital programme for DPGs of about €4m.
- Figures as regards housing will have to be clarified with housing. Will revert.
- Cycleways – will be included under greenways and NTA schemes. Traffic and transport sits within roads directorate so it is more nomenclature really.
- Dereliction and funding was part of the revenue budget.
- Borrowings – any we take on has to get Council approval and then departmental approval. Perhaps some of the LIHAF will come from borrowing.
- Non-national roads grant allocation would be included in the revenue budget. So the imbalance is perceived but it is actually included in the revenue budget.
- €517m is the intent from taking on board what the directorates have said and taking on board what came through the MDs. We may not reach the €517m over 3 years
- We still have €50m unfunded. It just moves on and on and on. There are €50m for identified projects unfunded this year too.
- We haven’t made a submission to the €2.6bn. Will follow this up.
Cllr O’Grady (SF): Wants year on year figures for transfer from revenue to capital over 3 years. Asks more about LIHAF.
Lorraine: Has them and will send out. 3 housing schemes which haven’t progressed would be in Kanturk, Cobh and Mogeely. There are not included in 2017. But there are others coming in under social leasing.
CE: We have to fund 25% of the €20m – LIHAF. The LIHAF doesn’t fund land purchase around spine roads so we will have to do that.
Cllr G Murphy (FG): On the Southern Assembly. We have a problem with LEADER funding. Is a particular problem in Cork.
Cllr O’Cadhla (Ind): Are our hands tied that the Council can’t put together a programme for investment in housing to respond to the housing crisis?
CE: What we do on housing is governed by 6 year housing strategy. Covers a whole range of housing options. Our funding comes directly from the department and we try to achieve the targets set by that 6 year programme. That’s the way it works.
Cllr O’Cadhla (Ind): Knows this. But Council has its own revenue. Is it ok for us to put together a far more ambitious programme?
CE: I would have to bring that programme to Council for approval. When there is a funded government strategy in place, I can’t bring another proposal to Council for borrowing. Government has account of our need and requirement and will fund that through the various forms of social housing support.
Cllr O’Cadhla (Ind): Can we as a Council bring forward a proposal?
CE: To bring a proposal for borrowing, I have to be satisfied that we can secure it for a particular purpose to respond to Council’s investment programmes. I am told by government that they will deliver on what we need so I see no need to outside of that.
Cllr Doyle (FF): LIHAF – this is for infrastructure. In a town like Charleville which is zoned for 800 houses or so, we will never have the infrastructure. Is it possible to get some of that funding towards infrastructure of this nature.
CE: We will have to come back to the Council for support to borrow for this. We got good funding from LIHAF in the context of allocations nationally. Borrowing to pay for the infrastructural deficits in towns like Charleville, etc. would be based on our capacity to borrow. I would borrow if I were sure that number of houses were going to be delivered by a developer to support the borrowing so I could get it paid back. At the moment, I don’t see that happening.
Cllr G Murphy (FG): There is a separate capital fund in the housing department to build roads to facilitate development. If there are 750 plannings in Charleville, there should be funding from the housing department because there is general acceptance that those 750 houses cannot be built until the traffic problem in Charleville is solved.
CE: The funding was the LIHAF funds. We weren’t successful that the level of investment there would not deliver that number of houses. If there is another round of LIHAF, we will go back in and look for more for Charleville and other towns like it.
Mayor: This year’s capital budget represents a good sum of money and a nice increase in last year. We have a provisional date with Minister Ross towards the end of June. Request was in since last October. We have asked that it would be brought forward. Confirmed that it would be cross party.
Reports and Recommendations
6. Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District
MANAGER’S REPORT UNDER SECTION 179, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT, 2000: Proposed Development of Pedestrian and Cycle Greenway and Ancillary Works from Glenbrook to Raffeen Bridge.
To be deferred. It will be on the next full Council meeting.
7. Bandon-Kinsale Municipal District
MANAGER’S REPORT UNDER SECTION 179, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT, 2000: L6506 Ferney Road Improvement Scheme, Carrigaline, Co. Cork
8. Reports from the International and EU Affairs Committee
(a) Report on proposed Sister Agreement with Miami Dade County.
Cllr Coleman (Ind): It is 20 years since we last signed a sister agreement. That was with Cook County and it has been very successful. The most critical thing Miami Dade brings is the cruise industry. It is the heart of the cruise industry and we will see 7 cruises coming to Cork this year. That is as a result of the hard work of the County Council. Food ingredients is a big area too as is agriculture. Hopes this Council will endorse the signing of a sister agreement and hopes if it progresses well, it will move forward to a formal twinning.
Cllr M Hegarty (FG): If it was only a quarter as successful as what we have with Cook County, it will be phenomenal. We have many similarities and will give us lots of opportunities to grow our links. Formally seconds.
Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG): Welcomes and speaks on the importance of these visits. From West Cork’s point of view, we welcome the 7 cruise liner visits. The work of the Council often goes unrecognised in these areas. Would like to see more relationships with Port of Cork developed too.
The sister agreement was approved.
(b) Tourism and Trade Mission to the U.S.
Mayor: This is on the agenda for information.
Correspondence from Government Departments
9. Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Letter dated 16th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 27th February, 2017, regarding bird flu virus.
Response to Cllr Collins’ motion: ‘Bird Flu Virus.pdf’
Cllr N Collins (Ind): Pleased to note requirement to keep birds confined. Thanks the Department and Michael Creed, TD.
10. Department of Justice and Equality
Letter dated 16th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 13th February, 2017, regarding amendment of the Valuation Act 2001
Response to Cllr D’Alton’s motion: ‘Correspondence from Dept of Justice & Equality.pdf’
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Extraordinary irony that the issue the Oireachtas is concerned with is ensuring there is no discrimination between Members of the Oireachtas. They are utterly forgetting about the discrimination between Members of the Oireachtas and the public. If they want parity and not to support discrimination, rates should be payable on all constituency offices whether within the Oireachtas or not.
Cllr O’Grady (SF): We received a letter from Minister Coveney saying he would be bringing forward legislation on rates. Has the Council made a submission on this. May give us an opportunity to work something?
Cllr O’Shea (Ind): Cllrs have to pay rates if they have constituency offices. That was brought up when the motion was discussed. That is discriminating to us too. Suggests that if we are writing back we would ask that this is noted.
Cllr O’Flynn: Thinks we should treat all public representatives the same.
CE: The proposed legislation from Minister Coveney is being drafted to strengthen local authorities’ powers in relation to rates. Hasn’t seen the draft legislation. Once it is legislation, is sure it will become part of our discussions.
We agreed that we would write back.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Ask that the legislation would be relooked at so that it doesn’t support discrimination between Members of the Oireachtas and the public. In other words, rates should be imposed on all constituency offices regardless of where they are located, whether in the Dáil or otherwise. But if they are adamant they won’t relook at the legislation then the least they can do is to produce legislation which is equally supportive of all public reps.
11. Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment:
Letter dated 24th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 20th February, 2017, regarding a moratorium on solar energy power plants in County Cork
Response to Cllr Murphy’s motion: ‘Correspondence from Dept of Communications
Cllr K Murphy (FG): Is disgusted with the response. Doesn’t agree that planning code is sufficiently robust. Have spoken to Minister Coveney. He said he would look at guidelines going forward. They should be included in the framework. Otherwise there will always be a question. They should be in place early on.
Cllr R McCarthy (SF): The Minister says his function is to encourage renewable energy. We’re not discouraging this; we just want to control development within the sector. Guidelines would provide greater clarity. The court case imminent on wind farms shows what happens when there are no guidelines in place. In Cork, there appears to be a high concentration of solar planning applications within the county. Thinks we should write back to the Minister. Wonders should the Environment SPC look at this? Up to last October there were 22 planning applications lodged for solar farms.
Cllr Doyle (FF): Agrees with Cllr Murphy. Solar farms are new to our planning department. They are various sizes, scale and we have no understanding of the effect they may have on our rural areas, runoff, visual impact, construction, etc. It is an unacceptable response. We have seen what has happened to wind farms and the distance between wind farms and houses Europe-wide has now changed.
Cllr Coleman (Ind): Cork County Council was the first to come up with pilot guidelines on windfarms. Thinks the PPU could do pilot guidelines on solar farming too.
Agreed that we would write back. Cllr O’Grady supports that the PPU would help us develop our own.
CE: Assures the members that these applications are always assessed against the various policies. Any level of development that is approved will be appropriate. Doesn’t see that this organisation should develop guidelines when there are no national guidelines.
12. Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government:
Letter dated 29th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 27th February, 2017, regarding designation of the southern side of Carrigaline as a Rent Pressure Zone.
Response to Cllr Jeffers’ motion: ‘DOE Rent Pressure Zone.pdf’
Cllr Jeffers (SF): Thanks the department for writing back. Is not happy. The response doesn’t support the people on the south side of Carrigaline. Can’t understand how the Minister could let this happen within his own town. SF does not agree with the mechanism of rent pressure zones. We want to link them to the CPI. But we have to work with what we have and on the southern side of Carrigaline, a 4 bed is priced on Daft at €1500.month. On the northern side of Carrigaline, it is at €900.month. Is it down to this? Home ownership is at its lowest since 1971. The Housing Agency may, in conjunction with a local authority, make a proposal to the Minister for an area to be a rent pressure zone. Asks that we as a local authority would make that submission to the Minister. Asks that we would write to the Minister and ask that the criteria for rent pressure zones would be changed so that other areas in County Cork could be included.
Cllr R McCarthy (SF): Supports and seconds.
Cllr Lombard (FG): Thinks the price disparity is caused more because we have an electoral area dividing the town. The market will correct a lot of this; you can’t just compare prices on one side of a boundary with the other like that.
Mayor: Supports calls to raise this issue further. It does stem back to the town being divided but no town should have an area left out. We should write to the Housing Agency asking that we would together jointly make the request.
Cllr Jeffers: Agrees. Thinks it would have to come from the Chamber that we request the Housing Agency to follow up on this issue and include the southern side of Carrigaline.
Cllr K Murphy (FG): Suggests that we start the letter by supporting the scheme in general.
Cllr Jeffers (SF): My own political views would be not be supportive of the scheme.
13. Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government:
Letter dated 29th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 27th February, 2017, regarding a resolution of the Council in relation to Affordable Housing Purchase schemes
Response to Cllr Coleman’s motion: ‘DOE Affordable Housing.pdf’
Cllr Coleman (Ind): Very disappointing response that we will have no affordable housing scheme. We were told at SPC that an affordable housing scheme would be imminent.
Cllr Hayes (SF): Thinks the Minister has missed the point. There was a good scheme run up until 2011. People are in a gap at the moment; they can’t afford to buy privately and don’t fit the criteria for a Council house. There is confusion as to the message we’re getting; thinks we should write back.
Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG): We discussed this at Western Division. It is important to have a scheme for couples who are falling through the hoops. Thinks we should seek more clarity. Is disappointed with the response.
Cllr Barry (FG): Support previous speakers. Is a huge supporter of the affordable scheme. It maybe had too many hoops to jump through but definitely filled a gap in the market. We have to look at how we house people. The gap between social housing and people drawing mortgages from financial institutions is huge. We have to see if there is a way people on the minimum wage can purchase their own homes.
Cllr G Murphy (FG): The Minster has to either make affordable housing available or raise the threshold for social housing. There are people caught in the middle.
Cllr K Murphy (FG): We should seek for this to be clarified. Affordable housing and affordable sites – neither was really addressed. There is a welcome for an affordable scheme for people who are caught in the middle.
Cllr R McCarthy (SF): Is disappointed. In my own estate, the affordable houses didn’t sell but it was the wrong time at that point. There is now much need for an affordable housing scheme. My motion looks for an increase in the threshold for social tenants. It will have to be one or the other.
Mayor supports too. Has long been an advocate for this. Has raised this issue when the Minister was with us last year. We have agreement that we will write back and ask for him to examine this issue.
Cllr McCarthy (SF): The response to my motion (yet to be heard) asks that we would write to seek an increase in threshold for social housing. Should we not tie the two together? We shouldn’t really be asking for both.
Mayor thinks that because we haven’t time to hear the motion now, we’ll have to go ahead and write separately on both issues.
14. Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
Letter dated 29th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 9th January, 2017, regarding the plight of older separated men and women with marital and relationship problems in their quest for social housing.
Response to Cllr Collins’ motion: ‘DOE Social Housing Leasing.pdf’
Cllr N Collins (Ind): Asks Council to consider relaxing the housing letting regulations. They are crazy.
15. Department of Health
Letter dated 11th April, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 13th February, 2017, regarding an opt-out system of consent for organ donation
Response to Cllr Sheppard’s motion: ‘Correspondence from Dept of Health.pdf’
Cllr Sheppard was not present so the response was noted.
Suspension of Standing Orders
Mayor proposes a 5 minute recess to meet with party leaders with the CE, the Senior Planner and the Director of Services, Planning. Asks the proposers of the two amendments relating to Little Island and Passage West to be present also.
The meeting reconvened.
Senior Planner: The two proposed amendments under discussion are those for Little Island and Passage West. In the case of both these proposed amendments, the planning authority determined (S20.3(f)) pursuant to environmental reporting that an Appropriate Assessment (AA) was required for both of these amendments. The legislation says that where AA is required that the amendments don’t pass screening and would therefore fall to go forward for full AA. The Act provides that the Manager will specify what period is necessary for the passage of the resolution. We’re saying that should take between 12 and 18 months. The AA relates to the Cork Harbour SPA. We will probably need to procure specialist services. We can confirm that the amendments could not be published without AA and therefore we would not be in a position to publish those amendments in May or adopt the two relevant Local Area Plans until the AA was finished. The planning authority is required to publish a proposed material alteration, publish a determination and say that it will take that long. So the amendments will be published but will not be brought forward for adoption until the AA is completed and this will not be completed for 12 – 18 months.
CE: Where an amendment proposed is deemed to require Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), I must publish the amendments as proposed but I must also publish the date by which the AA will be undertaken. So when we publish the draft Local Area Plans next week, I will be specifying that SEA will be required for both of these amendments and that the period to undertake these wil be 12 – 18 months. So the full LAP for the Cobh Municipal District and the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District will not be coming back for adoption until the AAs are complete.
Mayor: I proposed one of these amendments. Is there an option to revoke? How does it happen?
Meetings administrator: A special meeting would have to be held. Notification would have to issue today. Intention to amend the resolution of Council would have to be given. One third of Members would have to sign this. Two thirds of the Members present at the Friday meeting would have to vote in favour of carrying the revocation.
Cllr P O’Sullivan (FF): I proposed the other amendment. Am willing to withdraw it.
Cllr Forde (FG) spoke. Think she asked about the cost of doing the AA for both amendments.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Don’t understand how when the site in question in the Little Island amendment is 450 metres from the SPA and the development that is proposed is 10 serviced sites that AA is being required, yet in other areas of Little Island and in Ringaskiddy in particular, we have a list of sites zoned for industrial development right down to the water’s edge, noted in the Local Area Plan as interacting with the SPA but they do not need AA.
ML: These are existing zoned land – the reports relating to those are publicly available. They would have been screened at draft stage and those reports are available.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Will the provisional screenings of the amendments also be made available?
ML confirmed that we can also see the screening reports on the two proposed amendments.
ML: We don’t have a cost for doing the AAs for the amendments.
CE: We may have to go to tender. There are two AA’s which would have to be undertaken. So we don’t know how much that will cost.
ML: These are existing zoned land – the reports relating to those are publicly available. They would have been screened at draft stage and those reports are available. We can also see the screening reports on the two proposed amendments.
Cllr G Murphy (FG) asked for clarity.
Cllr Canty (FG) also asked for clarity.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): In two of the sites in Ringaskiddy listed as being industrially zoned, the draft Local Area Plan clearly states “this area may be used as a feeding ground by bird species for which Cork Harbour SPA is designated” and in another it says “this zone is adjacent to the Cork Harbour Special Protection Area”. Why is it not possible to include the two amendments in the same way, noting that there may be impacts on the SPA and assess those impacts subsequently through, as you would suggest yourself, development control?
ML: The amendments failed the screening. That’s what our ecologist says. That’s it.
31. Votes of Congratulations
Cllr O’Grady (SF) wished Cllr Danielle Twomey congratulations on the birth of her little girl.
(Think there was another vote of congratulations also.)
The rest of the meeting was adjourned.